Like-for-like (LFL) in-store sales were down by 10.1% in the month of March, making it the second worst figures on record for UK retail.
According to the business advisory firm’s records, the only worse month was November 2008 (-10.6%), when the UK was gripped by a financial crisis and heavy snowfall.
Lifestyle sales saw a fall of 4.5% when compared to last year, while fashion and homewares saw decreases of 12.7% and 13.2 respectively.
Non-store LFLs were up by 11.0% in March from a strong base of 28.1% seen last year. The non-store result for March this year was the lowest monthly growth seen since December 2015 which had an increase of 7.5%.
Sophie Michael, head of retail and wholesale at BDO, said: “March was a brutal month for stores. The weather was severe, and shoppers’ reaction showed how paper-thin consumer confidence is currently.”