With the government unwilling to allow non-essential shops to reopen very quickly, UK consumers are voting with their feet and continuing to drift back to physical shopping, even though most stores are closed.
The vaccination programme may be dealing with many millions of people every week and the spread of the virus may be sharply down, but it seems there’s no good news on the reopening of non-essential shops any time soon.
UK consumer confidence is showing signs of recovery… albeit slowly. But any positive reading in February’s main Consumer Confidence Index isn’t anywhere near enough to reflect a “spring back to life”, GfK’s said Friday.
The UK’s retail sales fall was worse than expected last month, official figures showed on Friday. And the Office for National Statistics called out clothing stores as the key sector that saw “strong declines”.
It’s bad and it could get a whole lot worse. That’s the stark message for the UK retail jobs sector from the Centre for Retail Research (CRR). Its latest figures show 27,096 retail jobs have been lost so far this year.
China is to become the first country in the world to see e-commerce sales outstripping sales through physical shops with a new prediction saying e-tail should account for 52.1% of all retail sales (by value) this year.
Scottish retail was given a boost Wednesday with news it won’t pay business rates through to next year. The measures, which also cover the hospitality and leisure industries, will last until April 2022.
There may have been lots of news stories about interruptions to trade because of Brexit, but it seems that consumers in key European markets are still buying from Britain, data from eShopWorld (ESW) shows.