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Industry News

Published on December 18th, 2020 | by The GC Team

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Retail sales fall but household goods still in demand

Retail sales fell 3.8% in November, bringing an end to a six-month run of rising trade.

According to the Office for National Statistics, Household goods stores continued to see sales volumes grow in November, up 1.6%, and trade is now 15.2% higher than in February 2020, before the first lockdown.

Online retail accounted for 31.4% of total retailing, compared with 28.6% in October 2020, with overall growth of 74.7% in the value of sales when compared with November 2019.

Hugh Fletcher, Global Head of Consultancy and Innovation at Wunderman Thompson Commerce, said: “The second national lockdown was always going to have an adverse effect on retailers, especially brick and mortar stores.

“The introduction of higher tiers across the UK means retailers face an even tougher challenge going into 2021. Under tier 3 guidance, retail can remain open but even here there are issues to overcome as consumers remain fearful of contracting the virus – nearly half (48%) of shoppers confessed to being scared about returning to the high street in July, with this number remaining a significant 24% in September.

“Unlike the first national lockdown in March – which was a shock to the system – retailers cannot claim surprise as a reason for being unprepared for an online surge. And with 87% of consumers claiming they expected retailers to be better prepared for new lockdowns, there is little sympathy for retailers not capable of offering consumers what they want online.”

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