Online Sales Rise in October Following Brand-new Covid Limitations

Online sales increased by 86% on a like-for-like basis in October, improved as physical shopping decreased in numerous locations following the intro of stricter regional Covid-19 lockdown determines across the UK, according to the current BDO High Street Sales Tracker.

This follows a little dip in eCommerce sales in the last couple of months compared to the peak lockdown period in the Spring. It is expected online sales will now move even more online after a brand-new four-week national lockdown started in England this week, in which non-essential retail shops have closed.

Overall sales for October went up for the very first time considering that January, by 1.6%, according to the tracker, as retail experienced an excellent start to its ‘golden quarter’. Nevertheless, BDO stated this boost “threats being weakened” by the new limitations.

Overall, in-store sales fell by 27.7% in October, with each sector tape-recording an unfavorable outcome. In lifestyle, in-store revenue decreased by 19.8%, while for fashion it fell by 36.2%, the ninth and eighth successive months of negative sales, consecutively.

In addition, homeware ended a three-month run of either favorable or flat in-store sales, decreasing by 6.4% on a like-for-like basis.

Sophie Michael, head of retail and wholesale at BDO LLP, commented: “October, while tough, saw green shoots for the high street and indications of renewed customer costs. A new lockdown that includes the closure of non-essential stores, nevertheless, combined with ambiguity around Brexit, and little time for adaptation has poisoned any possible healing. This has landed merchants in a worst-case scenario in the middle of the vital golden quarter.

“High street brand names have invested significant amounts to guarantee their shops are Covid-secure and build consumer self-confidence to go shopping in-store, an investment that might now feel lost.

“New lockdown measures will just include the troubles of lots of struggling sellers. The sped up shift online has required merchants to concentrate on their online channel and operational logistics, and the closure of stores will undoubtedly cause an even much faster shift to online. Many might discover that their infrastructures are simply not there to manage all sales going through this single channel at a time of peak seasonal trading.”