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U.K. High Street Sales Pick Up in September

Same-store revenues in the month rose 3.5 percent year-on-year, according to the BDO High Street Sales Tracker.

LONDON — It looks as if the green shoots of recovery may have begun to sprout on the U.K. high street.

On Monday, the BDO High Street Sales Tracker said same-store sales in September rose 3.5 percent year-on-year, with fashion up 3 percent. Storms and autumnal weather drove up fashion revenues, BDO said.

Non-fashion sales, meanwhile, grew by 7 percent year-on-year and were buoyed by strong performances in gifting and leisure, beauty and luxury revenues.

Don Williams, national head of retail and wholesale at BDO LLP, said: “These figures are being compared against a relatively weak 2011, but the predicted Olympic afterglow seems to have helped boost sales. The autumnal weather has certainly provided a welcome fillip for fashion sales too.

“Next month’s figures will give us a better idea of how strong the recovery is, but we expect growth to remain positive in the run-up to Christmas,” he added.

Meanwhile, Marks & Spencer announced Monday it plans to take on an extra 20,000 employees across its U.K. and Republic of Ireland stores this Christmas — 5,000 more than last year. Steve Rowe, director of retail at M&S, said it was hiring the extra help to ensure maximum levels of customer service.