According to official data, UK retail sales saw their biggest fall on record in March due to the Coronavirus lockdown.
Whilst food sales have surged as consumers stockpiled and were forced to stay home, overall UK retail sales dropped by 5.1 percent in March according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
Hardest hit was the fashion sector with clothing sales seeing the largest drop with a reduction of minus 34.8 percent against the same period last year, despite the fact many of these stores were still open and trading until the official lockdown date of 23rd March.
Many fashion retailers are trying to boost sales with in-season discounts in excess of 60 percent on goods, further damaging their already fragile margins. Debenhams, Oasis and Warehouse group and Cath Kidston have already fallen into administration blaming the collapse in sales caused by Coronavirus restrictions and being forced to close their stores by governments. Today In: Retail
Supermarkets and other food stores have seen a huge jump in sales with a 10.4 percent increase as consumers are forced to cook at home. With bars and pubs closed alcohol sales through these channels have seen a significant spike, up 31.4 percent.
Unsurprisingly online sales have soared as stores remain closed, now accounting for 22.3 percent of all UK retail sales – a record high.
Cally RussellContributorRetailI write about Europe’s retail industry and all things tech startup.
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