Government retail data - your views wanted

ended 22. April 2021

Tomorrow (Friday) morning at 07:00, the Office for National Statistics is publishing the latest retail sales data, essentially giving us an insight into the state of the high street.

We want to know what you've experienced over the past month or two, especially since the high street reopened on 12th April.

Is there a spring in shoppers' steps (both online and in-shop), and how optimistic are you feeling as an online, high street or hybrid independent retailer?

Please be short and punchy with your alert_responses and keep them to 4-5 sentences max. Also, be sure to select yourself as the person providing the quote or we don't know who has written it. 

As ever, we will send your comments to the local, national and trade media.

5 responses from the Newspage community

"It has been wonderful to see the town centre buzzing with shoppers again. Seeing customers old and new coming through the door has really lifted my spirits. I feel really confident about the future of the High Street as so many people say how much they have missed shopping, and browsing. It's clear people appreciate the small businesses of their local towns more than ever!"
Tarelle Accessories
"As an online retailer of ladies' fashion accessories, we have continued to experience growth in our sales in the past two months. We are very happy that the high street has opened up again but we are feeling a bit anxious that, after an incredible year of sales, we might experience a drop . However that has not happened in the past week, with the brighter weather and people getting out and about, women are beginning to dress up again and wanting a nice bag or a scarf to elevate their look. Like myself some of us are still a bit nervous and haven’t ventured out yet. It is early days yet, so will have to see."
"Although the various lockdowns and closure of non-essential retail have provided an overall boost to online sales, it's also driven high street brands to heavily invest in online channels as their only route to market. This has generated more competition for 'online-only' retailers and a cluttered online market for consumers. Since the 12th April, we've not observed a major shift in our metrics: our core customers have continued to shop with us in the same way as they did pre-pandemic. However, we've observed an uplift in specific book categories, such as Travel Guides and Maps, because travel restrictions within the UK have eased. We've also observed spikes in our academic book categories, as the re-opening of schools has re-energised parents and students."
Teddo Play
"Anticipating a dramatic shift in people's spending behaviour once the lockdown restrictions were lifted, a few months ago we changed our strategy from being online-only to venturing out to test retail. While online sales have dropped for us since 12 April, it has been a relief to see that the physical shops who stock our products have been doing very well and continue to order our educational products in bulk to resell in their shops. People are out and about, the nice weather has been great for this and everyone seems to be enjoying the physical shopping experience again over endless browsing on their phones."
"We have had fantastic reports from our local businesses, with some owners receiving gifts from local customers on reopening, and many reporting being busier than they expected. It is clear that there has been a pent-up demand to pop into shops and cafes for months. What we're also seeing is that people are browsing online and using digital to plan what they are going to do with their new-found freedom ahead of real trips in-store. There is a lot of optimism on the high street right now, helped by the sunshine."