UK retail sales growth slows as November lockdown hits non-food sales – BRC

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LONDON (Businesshala) – Growth in British retail sales slowed in November when non-essential stores closed as part of a four-week lockdown in England, but online sales were able to fill a greater gap than in the first lockdown in March. industry data showed on Tuesday.

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The British Retail Consortium said year-on-year overall retail sales growth slowed to 0.9% in November from 4.9% in October, the weakest spending growth since a 5.9% drop in May.

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A measure of similar sales – which includes online retail and stores that were able to stay open – rose 7.7% from a year earlier, the biggest gain since June.

Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the British Retail Consortium, said, “Some retailers were able to offset the proportion of lost sales through more online and click-and-collect sales, ensuring that they still managed to keep track of their customers.” can serve.”

For others, the coronavirus has proved to be the last straw. Last week the 242-year-old department store chain Debenhams said it had entered administration if it could not find a new owner and Arcadia, which operates Britain’s best-known high street clothing chain.

The UK economy shrank by a record 20% during the three months from June, which covered much of the first lockdown, but was forced to shed a lot of 2% during the last three months of 2020 in response to the recent closure of the Bank of England. A slight decline is expected.

Between 5 November and 2 December non-essential shops and most hospitality and entertainment venues had to be closed to the public in England, and similar restrictions were in place elsewhere in the United Kingdom. BRC data covered from 1st November to 28th November.

Barclaycard, which processes nearly half of British credit and debit card payments, said consumer spending between 24 October and 20 November was down 1.9% compared to a year earlier.

The fall in spending hides a large gap between sectors.

Spending in supermarkets was up 24%, and online food shopping was up 98% from a year ago, while spending in restaurants and pubs was less than half the year-ago level.

Barclaycard said department stores and clothing retailers, many of which have struggled to sell online, have seen spending declines of 18% and 13%, respectively.

“The big question now is whether after November’s lockdown Britons will hit the high streets for Christmas shopping, providing a much-needed boost in December,” said Barclaycard executive Raheel Ahmed.

Reporting by David Milliken; Editing by Alison Williams

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