Retail industry in “fragile recovery”
Responding to the latest ONS Retail Sales Index figures which showed a 4.1% increase in overall sales (retail sales excluding fuel: J3L2), Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the British Retail Consortium, said:
“It is clear that the retail industry is entering a period of fragile recovery, with August showing the third consecutive month of growth. However, the recovery remains a mixed bag, with high growth in online sales while city centre shops suffered as a result of low footfall. BRC-KPMG data shows that food, computing, furniture and TVs have all sold well, driven by home working, while fashion, beauty and footwear have remained below pre-coronavirus levels.
“With further lockdowns looming, the government must provide clarity on the impact it will have for shops. Retailers have invested hundreds of millions making stores safe and secure for customers during the pandemic; this includes perspex screens, social distancing measures and additional hygiene measures. As such, retail remains a safe space for consumers, even under local lockdowns.”