UK’s Retail Sales Improve in March, Set to Surge in April as Economy Reopens
Arslan Butt • 1 min read
Finally some good news for the ailing retail sector across Britain, even before the easing of the lockdowns. The famed high street retailers across the nation registered higher sales during March even before the government gave permission to non-essential retail outlets to resume operations.
Research by the BRC reveals that total retail sales came in at 13.9% YoY in March, and were also 8.3% higher than the sales reported during March 2019 – well before the coronavirus pandemic struck. With the UK having gone into lockdown during March 2020, comparison with last year’s figures are not reliable enough but the comparison with 2019’s data offers hope for economic recovery.
Pent-up demand among consumers is likely to drive a surge in retail sales during this month, especially after the reopening of non-essential outlets at the beginning of this week. On the first day alone, several stores reported long lines of waiting customers, eager to resume shopping after spending several months at home.
Chief executive at BRC, Helen Dickinson, remarks, “Despite some product ranges trading well, the next six months will be make or break for many retailers. Over the past three lockdowns, non-food retail stores have lost £30b, so many retailers will be relying on growing consumer confidence and a return to town and city centres to fuel their recovery.”