UK retail sales for July went up for the second month in a row, fueled heavily by the rapid shift to online business.
Figures by BRC-KPMG retail sales observer indicate sales for the sector grew by 3.2 percent within a 4-week span, from July 5 to August 1.
The July performance almost matches sales in June, when the category saw a 3.4 percent rise, showing great resilience even amid COVID-19 restrictions.
Ecommerce has continued to welcome an inflow of customers, with sales for online non-food products growing by 41 percent.
This figure is a small drop on the 3-month average of 49 percent, probably because July saw most brick-and-mortar resume business. Many physical stores run operations throughout the month.
The observer also found that non-food web sales proliferated to 42 percent in July 2020 from 29.7% in July last year.
In comparison, food sales went up by 6.1 percent on the whole marking the highest growth rate from June 2009.
According to Paul Martin, Boss of UK Retail at KPMG, many different pandemic factors have collectively contributed to the above findings;
“Though lockdown restrictions have eased and life is normalizing gradually, buyers still spend most their lives at home. Web sales remain popular – making up more than 40 percent – as food and other home-centric products like furniture, kitchenware, etc. follow closely. With more and more people working from home, the purchase of computers and related accessories have increased as well.”
However, the retail environment remains shaky and merchants must tread with caution according to Helen Dickinson, CEO of British Retail Consortium (BRC).
“While the increase in retail sales show signs of recovery, the sector still has a lot of “catching up” to do as many stores have been out of business for months. The delicate economic status is impacting customer spending with some merchants torn between increasing operational costs and lower sales.”
Because of the uncertainty of the future, businesses must operate cautiously. Still, we must acknowledge the UK retail sector’s remarkable performance in a challenging market.
Payment industry guru Taylor Cole is a passionate payments expert who understands the complex world of UK merchant accounts. He also writes non-fiction, on subjects ranging from personal finance to stocks to cryptopay. He enjoys eating pie on his backyard porch, as should all right-thinking people