Press releases

Deloitte comments on ONS retail sales

24 July 2020

Commenting on today’s ONS retail sales figures, Ian Geddes, head of retail at Deloitte, said:

“Retail sales showed a rebound in June with sales values and volumes up, respectively, by 13.6% and 13.9% month-on-month. Whilst total value sales, including fuel, remain below year-on-year comparables, consumers appear to be emerging from lockdown slowly but cautiously, as volume sales returned to pre-lockdown levels.

“Deloitte data, collected as non-essential stores reopened, found that 46% of UK consumers felt safe visiting a store. This reflection in June’s figures signals a much-needed, albeit careful, step in the right direction for retailers. Non-essential stores in particular will be taking stock of their first few weeks of post-lockdown trade. As restrictions have eased on the High Street, some in-store footfall is likely to have been prompted by a rush to buy from those retailers that couldn’t be accessed online during lockdown. For some consumers, the opportunity to go shopping was simply ‘something to do’ as leisure venues remained closed over this period. Nevertheless, non-food sales have surged as a result, up 45.5% in volume from May, with clothing demonstrating continued growth again this month.

“As the hospitality sector reopens in the months ahead, and more consumers are enticed out, secondary footfall could boost numbers on the High Street, still. Likewise, with holidays back on the cards for many, demand for summer collections may just arrive in time for the new season.

“Online food sales also remained strong in June, accounting for 11.3% of total sales. This is at the same level as last month, indicating that many consumers continued to do their grocery shopping in this way.

“For both food and non-food sectors, the challenge will be maintaining the pace of returning consumers. Online sales as a proportion of overall sales remained high in June, at 31.8%. With consumers having experienced the convenience of online shopping during lockdown, some retailers will be focussing once more on their in-store experience in the ‘new normal’.”


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