Online Spending Continues To Drive Retail Sales Despite Store Openings

Online spending rose again last month, despite the opening of Main Street to businesses, suggesting that some consumer behaviors adopted during the closures are here to stay.

Total online spending rose nearly 10% in May compared to the same period last year, according to BDO’s High Street Sales Tracker, although physical stores are open and functioning almost normally.

The increase means online sales in May 2021 were higher even than online sales in May 2020, when the UK was in full lockdown and online shopping was the only option available.

Sophie Michael, Head of Retail and Wholesale, BDO, said: “The continued strength of online sales suggests that some consumer behaviors adopted during the lockdowns have remained, illustrating the continued importance of a blended multi-channel approach. from retailers.

“Product relevance and customer engagement across all channels will be the key to business success. “

Total like-for-like sales, in-store and online, nearly tripled in May, from a mediocre foreclosure base of minus 18.3% for the equivalent month last year.

Fashion and lifestyle retailers had a particularly successful month, with sales up 85 and 83 percent respectively.

Michael continued, “The numbers for May continue the encouraging results we saw in April and suggest that the building blocks for a sustained recovery are gradually being put in place.

“Clear progress is being made after stores reopen, with consumer confidence and retail sales approaching pre-pandemic levels.

“This is good news for retailers operating in discretionary spending areas such as fashion and lifestyle, which have been hit particularly hard by the lockdowns.”

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