The high street is enjoying sales success
A member of the UK200Group of independent accountancy and law firms has commented on news that the high street has rebounded strongly at the start of 2016 after an uneven festive period for many retailers. According to the British Retail Consortium-KPMG retail sales monitor, total retail revenues across all product categories jumped 3.3% year-on-year in January. Online sales of non-food products grew 14.9% in January versus a year earlier, when they had grown by 11.7%. The non-food online penetration rate was 21.5%; up 1.4% from January 2015.
Duncan Montgomery, tax partner at UK200Group member firm Whittingham Riddell, said:
“SMEs have to realise that the overall growth of 3.3% masks a shift away from traditional methods of selling and into online.
“Refreshing online offerings and making sure that customers have the best experience is just as key as refreshing and bringing store layouts up to date. It is crucial to have a good quality site; just as you would want a retail outlet to look good and have the right flow, so must the online offering.
“Perhaps take a leaf from the Waitrose/John Lewis tie up and collecting John Lewis goods from Waitrose. Offer online ordering and in-store collection and use the chance to sell additional products. It is crucial for retail SMEs to use as many of the ideas in the market place as they can to keep market share and avoid the online offering becoming stale.”