How's the retail sector looking?

ended 09. May 2021

Tomorrow the British Retail Consortium is publishing its latest monthly snapshot of the high street (for April). If you're covering this, the following may be of use:

 

3 responses from the Newspage community

"Though the first three months of 2021 were quiet due to lockdown, April has been far better with a combination of online spending through our digital platform from consumers living further afield, and strong sales from our bricks and mortar shop from customers old and new re-exploring the town centre again now that they are able to. "We have seen a huge shift in people wanting to support and build relationships with smaller businesses, choosing us over larger stores. The pandemic, paradoxically, could prove to be the saviour of the high street rather than its nemesis. "I am confident that, as town centres continue to reopen more fully through the rest of the year, this trend will only grow stonger. "We have spent the past twelve months providing many online experiences and customer interactions that will continue to help galvanise sales moving forward. We look forward excitedly to the rest of 2021."
"Over the past month, footfall on the high street with genuine intent to spend has been a welcome turnaround for local shops, many of which were suffering long before Covid-19. "What we are seeing unfold on the UK's high streets marks a seismic shift in attitude that is far more supportive of local and independent businesses. Long may it continue. "We have seen longer browsing sessions on our online shop local site, ShopAppy (nearly double in some towns and cities) as people shift from online transactions to online discovery, essentially pre-browsing products before they visit the shop in person. "In some cases, perhaps, they are doing this so that they spend less time inside physical premises." "It's a return of the short-stay shopper that we saw in July and August but a much clearer bounce back.
"Throughout the pandemic there has been a noticeable shift in consumers wanting to shop local and support local businesses, and this continued apace in April. "We're noticing that customers are making much more of an effort to support the businesses in their neighbourhoods and towns, not just by spending with them but also recommending shops online and on social media. "The pandemic has raised awareness of just how closely local businesses are tied to the wellness and growth of the community, and this trend is definitely here to stay. "In the current climate, it's important for retailers to understand that they need to offer something of additional value to shoppers as the popularity of online shopping continues to rise. "Retailers that continue to reimagine their offering to add value to consumers are the ones who will be driving the future of the high street. "Overall, we are optimistic about the future as we believe that small retail businesses have learnt how to adapt and evolve over the past year."