Paul Martin discusses the findings of the BRC-KPMG Retail Sales Monitor and highlights key areas of focus in light of the results.
Paul Martin, UK head of retail at KPMG:
“June saw pent up consumer demand released, with total sales finally back in positive territory – up 3.4% on the same month last year. While the easing of social distancing restrictions is of course welcome news, the challenges and longer-term consequences for the industry have far from disappeared, and not all categories of retail are benefitting from this post-lockdown boom.
Food and drink sales have continued to perform strongly, and June’s warmer weather accentuated that further. It also resulted in more Brits purchasing items to make their post-lockdown lives more comfortable, whether that be furniture, toys, or computing equipment.
Fashion sales haven’t rebounded quite as impressively though, despite reports of increased interest from those prepared to queue to enter stores. Online sales – while still in a high gear – are cooling a little as high street activity picks up again slowly and cautiously. That said, whether consumers will forego the convenience of online shopping now that they’ve become accustom to it, remains a fundamental question for the future.
Retailers won’t be picking up where they left off and months of reduced or no sales will threaten the survival of many. The pandemic has significantly changed consumer behaviour, it’s therefore vital that routes to market and ways of working are adapted with that fact in mind."
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