Retail sales and you and your business/charity

ended 24. March 2022

Tomorrow morning at 07:00, the Office for National Statistics is publishing the latest official retail sales data, giving a snapshot of the UK high street and our spending habits. Two questions, one for retailers/makers and one for consumers, i.e. everyone. A paragraph should do it, two max.

  • Retailers/makers (bricks and mortar and/or online): How are sales for you at present?
  • Consumers: Have you reined in your spending over the past month or so (out of necessity or choice)?

 

10 responses from the Newspage community

Star Quote
"It’s definitely seat of the pants stuff at the moment. Sales have dropped off a cliff in the online space since the start of the year and it feels like it’s getting worse, not better. We are watching every penny, too, so I can’t blame people. But when it’s your own business that you are fighting to help survive, all you hope for is some good news when you wake up in the morning in the form of a sale. Driving sales right now is like wading through treacle and I’m watching my cash flow everyday to make sure I can afford the next bill. All we can do is wait it out and try to stay positive. After all, people don’t want more doom and gloom, they want to buy from successful and upbeat businesses so for now it’s best foot forward with a smile on my face, however much anxiety there is on the inside."
"The increase in cost of living has rocked people's worlds and as a result their mental health. There has seemed to be a shift away from self-funding cash clients to more insurance or legal funded work. This could reflect that people are feeling the strain in other areas of their finances and so self-funding for their mental health treatment can no longer be prioritised."
"As a consumer, I have definitely reined in my spending since the New Year. With costs rising across the board, I am being far more selective about what I spend my money on. I've been prioritising experiences over 'stuff' and supporting local businesses when I do spend as I realise how difficult this must be for them after two years of uncertainty."
Unfortunately, we have had absolutely no choice whatsoever but to curb our personal spending as consumers because our customers are not only curbing their spending with us (Beauty is unfortunately not an essential expenditure) and we are also still feeling the effect of the ongoing covid Pandemic with numerous cancellations and no shows. Unfortunately I fear we will be living under the poverty line from next month. As last month's takings didn't even cover out outgoings.. On a personal note as a disabled person with electric wheelchair, electric stair lift, electric toilet and the need for a constant ambiant temperature. I now have to choose between heating, charging my equipment or feeding the Amy and myself as well as the kids. The chancellor has discriminated against the disabled, the most vulnerable. Yet has provided the rich with tax breaks.
"The squeeze on people's finance is industrial and it's having a huge impact on retail sales. Whilst many may not class beer as a 'luxury' item, when you stock the more premium beers as we do then consumers are likely to think twice and our sales figures show that."
Star Quote
"We’re fortunately seeing fairly strong sales but then we’re an online second-hand children’s clothes retailer, which makes us quite attractive in the current difficult climate. Firstly, our items are essentials rather than luxury items and secondly the fact that they’re second-hand makes them cheaper than the high street, as well as more sustainable environmentally. We’re therefore offering people an easy and quick way to buy clothes for growing kids at a cheaper price than elsewhere. This makes us more resilient to downturns in general spending. It also makes us more determined to continue providing the best value that we can, because we’re parents ourselves and recognise how much families are feeling the pinch with the cost of living. We’re pleased to be able to make at least one bill more manageable for our customers."
Star Quote
"I sell online and through independent shops, cafes and studios. I've noticed a slight reduction in online sales, but I've also noticed that the most popular items that sell are the ones that mirror what we're witnessing in our society, for example, prints that make fun of the Government and also items that are fundraisers for The Trussell Trust (food banks) and the British Red Cross. This tells me that people are being a bit more careful with their money but when they do spend they want to support others as much as they can."
Star Quote
"Sales are currently slow for us, which is no surprise given that the cost of seemingly everything is going through the roof. Inflation and soaring energy bills are hitting people's wallets hard. An additional challenge for us, compared to fast fashion brands, is that we are made to order, which means producing items is much more time-intensive . We also are currently targeting a demographic that the fashion industry, sadly, has long excluded, namely the disabled community. We are still trust building with our prospective customers and that's another challenge in the current climate."
Star Quote
"Consumer behaviour has changed hugely over the past few years with the pandemic. There is a huge amount of uncertainty hanging over the economy, made worse by spiralling inflation. People are cautious about spending, or just don't have the buying power they did, and this trend looks set to stay for the foreseeable future. Price and value will be king to the consumer moving forward."
Star Quote
"There's a lot of talk about ghost towns due to the pandemic and the cost-of-living crisis, but things are eerily silent online, too. Revenues are down 67% year on year for me. Even in the run-up to Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day things have been very quiet, which is particularly worrying given that I sell many cards and gifts specifically related to occasions like these. It's a brutal climate for all retailers, online and bricks and mortar. People just aren't spending, or don't have the money to spend, that they have for the past two years. You can sense a real shift."