The British Retail Consortium (BRC) has reported retail sales growth, with total sales increasing by 13.1% in June (Yo2Y), against a decline of 1.3% in June 2019 (YoY).
UK retail sales increased 17% on a like-for-like basis from June 2019, when they had decreased 1.6% from the preceding year. Online sales play a ‘far greater role’ in LFL, said the BRC, so has increased the growth rate ‘significantly’.
Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the BRC, said: “The second quarter of 2021 saw exceptional growth as the gradual unlocking of the UK economy encouraged a release of pent-up demand built up over previous lockdowns. In June, while growth in food sales begun to slow, non-food sales were bolstered by growing consumer confidence and the continued unleashing of consumer demand.”
UK retail is still facing ‘strong headwinds’ with many retailers still making up for ground lost during the previous lockdowns, Dickinson added, and city centre retailers continue to suffer low footfall and spending as commuters and international tourist numbers remained below pre-pandemic levels. “Consumer comfort with the next stage of the roadmap will be key to the ongoing success of retail.
“Many customers are looking forward to a return to a more normal shopping experience, while others may be discouraged by the change in face covering rules. The Government will need to reassure the public on safety, while pushing forward with its hugely successful vaccination programme.
“The public will also need to be understanding of one another during the easing of restrictions; there has been a big rise in violence and abuse against retail workers during the pandemic and colleagues cannot be put in the firing line because of this change in policy.”
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