Britain’s Retail Sales Still Decline Despite Growth in Online Sales
Arslan Butt • 1 min read
Total retail sales across Britain posted a decline for the month of February despite an uptick in online retail sales as shops remained closed due to the latest round of lockdowns across the nation. BDO’s high street sales tracker indicates a reduction in retail sales by 3.1%, the second worst reading seen since August 2020.
Even as high street retail outlets remained shut, there was some respite as demand for online shopping for fashion and homeware items stayed strong through last month. In addition, the BDO also indicated some possible hope for the sector in April after PM Boris Johnson recommended the reopening of non-essential stores from mid of next month.
The rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine across Britain has also helped boost consumer confidence, with fashion sales declining by 3.6% – the smallest drop seen since a year. While lifestyle sales were down by 15.6% in February, on a positive note, homewares posted a 32.2% increase in sales amid the lockdowns.
Head of retail and wholesale at BDO, Sophie Michael, observes, “As we mark a year of Covid’s impact on retail and the wider economy, we’ve seen total retail sales decline by around minus 8% on average each month. Obviously, there is still a long road ahead but with shops looking at reopening there were a few positive signs this month.”