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COVID-19: A perspective on the BRC-KPMG Retail Sales Monitor - August

A perspective on the BRC-KPMG Retail Sales Monitor

Paul Martin, UK head of retail at KPMG, The retail sector continued to show promising signs of recovery in August.

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Paul Martin

UK Head of Retail

KPMG in the UK

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Paul Martin, UK head of retail at KPMG:

“The retail sector continued to show promising signs of recovery in August, with like-for-like retail sales up 4.7% compared to last year. Whilst welcome news, the coming months are far from problem free, with economic uncertainties – including the unwinding of the furlough scheme – likely to leave many consumers thinking carefully about their spending priorities.

“We continue to experience mixed fortunes and not all retailers are where they should be at this point in the year. Fashion sales did start to rebound somewhat – at least online – although this was mainly driven by children’s back-to-school purchases. Likewise, the focus on home-related products, including furniture and computing equipment, continued – no doubt aided by many consumers remaining mostly at home.

“The online channel remains prominent, with penetration rates still high at 39.3% for non-food. Indeed, the vast majority of online categories realised significant growth in August. Clearly retailers have some serious thinking to do around what the future of the industry is going to be exactly. While the overall online penetration rate has declined in recent months, the significant acceleration of the channel is here to stay. With this in mind, retailers need to focus on the cost of doing business, as online is generally more expensive to operate.”

For further information, view the results of the full BRC-KPMG Retail Sales Monitor August.

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