Press Releases

Press Release 28 May 2021

UK shoppers hit stores with a vengeance post lifting of lockdown

Consumers around the world are eager to break free from the lockdown mode and get back to their preferred recreation activity – shopping. It is not without reason that shopping is considered a stress buster and we saw the reality of this live when UK finally came out of the lockdown recently. Official retail data from Britain clearly shows that shoppers really spurred following months in lockdown seeing jump in sales of 9.2 per cent in April, 2021 with apparel sales rising almost 70 per cent. Economist expect this surge to positively impact a robust economic recovery, which will further spur spending.
Some key findings that have emerged:
1
Sales reflect positive growth
Sales volumes in April jumped 9.2 per cent month-on- month (MoM) – twice the average forecast in a Reuters poll of economists and the biggest rise since June 2020 – after rising 5.1 per cent in March. Interestingly, the Office for National Statistics said retail sales in April were 10.6 per cent above their pre-pandemic level. And significantly, the sales volumes in April 2021 were 42.4 per cent higher than in April 2020, when they collapsed during Britain’s first Coronavirus lockdown.
2
Economy finally looks upward
The impact of vengeance shopping is reflected in the positive outlook for the economy. Bank of England policymakers are expecting further upsurge in spending as wealthier households spend savings built up during lockdowns. Forecast suggests that the economy would grow by 7.25 per cent this year after slumping by nearly 10 per cent in 2020, its biggest decline in more than 300 years.
3
Consumer sentiments back to post-lockdown high
Data from Britain’s longest-running survey of consumer sentiment, GfK Consumer Confidence Index has shown that the morale of consumers in May has been back at where it was just before the country first went into lockdown in March 2020. This is a big relief to retail watchers, who see a quick recovery from here onwards.
4
Online shopping gets a big thumbs-up
Repeated lockdowns accelerated the shift to online commerce with even an old traditional Department store like Debenhams closing its stores after more than 240 years of trading. However, the popularity of the brand name resulted in online retailer Boohoo, buying the same. Significantly, online spending in the UK increased by 0.6 per cent MoM in March 2021, with strong growth in textile, clothing and footwear stores of 10.9 per cent.
 

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