Press releases

Deloitte comments on ONS retail sales

23 July 2021

Commenting on today’s ONS retail sales figures, Oliver Vernon-Harcourt, head of retail at Deloitte, said:

“As expected, June has seen a marked year-on-year rebound in retail sales values and volumes, up 13.1% and 9.7% from low comparables last year. This is the third month of retail sales data since April’s reopening of the high street, and the strongest indication yet of consumer spending starting to rebalance after May’s strong shift towards the leisure and hospitality sectors. While June’s weather put a dampener on sales of garden items, sales of snacks and alcohol were lifted significantly as a result of England’s successful run in the Euro 2020 tournament.

“Consumers have been forced to change their shopping and consumption habits during the pandemic and, despite a slowing growth, online sales remain strong – accounting for 26.7% of all retail sales. While this is a slight decrease from the previous month, the proportion of online spending since stores reopened has increased by around seven percentage points since pre-pandemic levels, indicating that online spending behaviours have been permanently shifted. Clothing, in particular, has continued to see growth in online spending as consumers have grown more accustomed to buying items online rather than in-store.

“Consumers are feeling confident and there is pent up demand and a willingness to spend. This should be reflected in July’s retail sales figures; another summer of staycations will have a positive effect across the UK’s regions and warmer weather and the lifting of restrictions will give a further boost to retail spending. The industry should be encouraged by the surge in demand after what has been such a challenging period.

“However, the retail sector is not out of the woods yet, and there are significant challenges that are making it hard to match the supply-side with the increased demand. Not only are stores having to work hard to reassure consumers that they can shop in a safe environment, but the industry is also suffering from staffing shortages across the supply chain - in stores, warehouses and delivery vans – and this could put the brakes on an economic recovery. Managing human capital should be a top priority for any retail leader who is looking to capitalise on demand levels that we haven’t seen for years.”


Notes to Editors

About Deloitte

In this press release references to “Deloitte” are references to one or more of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (“DTTL”) a UK private company limited by guarantee, and its network of member firms, each of which is a legally separate and independent entity. Please see for a detailed description of the legal structure of DTTL and its member firms.

Deloitte LLP is a subsidiary of Deloitte NSE LLP, which is a member firm of DTTL, and is among the UK's leading professional services firms.

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