Retail sales June 2022

ended 23. June 2022

Tomorrow (Friday) morning at 07:00, we're getting the latest retail sales data. If you're a retailer, online, bricks and mortar, or both, we want your views. And we're all consumers so some Qs for you, too. Please answer the questions that are relevant to you. This will be a BIG story tomorrow so retailers, please let us know if you're available for radio and/or TV interviews at the bottom. Questions:

  • How have sales been in May and June to date?
  • Is the cost of living crisis impacting sales? To what extent?
  • Are people buying non-essentials in the way they were perhaps a year ago?
  • Is the Government doing enough to support retailers?
  • Are you finding people are continuing to support local or are being driven to search for value with bigger brands who can afford to slash prices?
  • What can be done to support the retail sector?
  • As a consumer, have you reined in your own spending on non-essentials amid the cost of living crisis?
  • Any other thoughts on the current retail landscape?

Please keep your responses to 2-3 pars max. Let us know if you're available for radio/TV interviews tomorrow.

15 responses from the Newspage community

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For the small retailers that line our high streets, the cost of living crisis is a disastrous sequel to the pandemic and lockdowns of the past two years. These businesses are loved by communities, but they are also often family-run, which means they are experiencing a double whammy of costs rising at home and in their own shops. Our message to consumers is that local shops offer good value and, just as importantly, spending local will help our communities to survive this latest crisis. It's better to spend with a small local business than a distant billionaire. We know local independent retailers are resilient, but the currently level of inflation, coupled with rising energy costs, is placing them under extraordinary pressure.
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As a small online business, we have been hit hard by the current cost of living crisis. I’m living sale to sale, always hoping that the next day will bring bigger and brighter things. This has not just a monetary impact but a psychological one, too. I'm in a permanent pep talk with myself, always reminding myself that this is not of my doing. My customers are stretched beyond their means and they want to support small business but how can they when big conglomerates are always outbidding us on price? Things to need to change fast or we are going to face a crisis that this country is unable to cope with.
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Despite endless pivots and strategy rethinks, our sales have been decreasing steadily for well over a year. The cost of living crisis feels exceptionally cruel.. We are now a community interest company, offering a 'Pay As You Feel' initiative in our shop. This means our profits are invested directly back into the community. We are also crowdfunding for a van to take our 'Pay As You Feel' bake sales UK-wide and the response, although steady, is positive. I feel that to keep going now you just have to keep changing with the times and if I can stand up and help families choosing between heating and eating I would rather do that than close.
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In May, our sales increased but in June we have seen a steep decline. Sales this month so far have been the lowest since 2020. We are continuing to see increased traffic to the site but these are not converting into sales. We have had an increased rate of returns and these are not faulty goods but customers have changed their minds and decided they do not need another leather handbag, which is non-essential. Saying that, I do feel there is still great support for the smaller independent retailers. We are still in a good position and still making a profit, although not as much. We are being very cautious for the coming months watching our costs , stock levels and having to raise our prices on some products due to increased prices from our suppliers. I am not aware of any government support for retailers but think a decrease in VAT would help. As a consumer myself, I am more careful on where I am spending and definitely not buying those nice to have non-essential products.
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I did a craft market recently, which usually would see me pull in a few hundred pounds, even on a rainy day. Instead, I took less than a third of what I would usually have, coupled with many more mutterings about being "too expensive", despite not charging above material costs. People want things still, but they have to consider other things first, like food and fuel, and I can't blame them for it. At least I pay my taxes, unlike the corporate giants that people now have no other choice than to go to.
The Government should be doing far more to support small retail businesses, and could start by allowing empty shops to be leased rent free. Then this levelling up they talk about so often can finally start to take effect on our high streets, helping local economies, all whilst supporting small businesses and preventing towns from looking like ghost towns. To further support the retail sector, small independent businesses should be relieved of business rates and high rental costs. Many small retail businesses are struggling because people just can't afford to buy non-essentials, given the rising cost of pretty much everything.
The cost of living crisis has impacted sales, and we've had some nervous moments, but it looks like June will marginally outperform May with increased sales but still off our original forecast. Whilst we understand everyone is up against it and may have to make cuts, we feel visiting our stores is more than an affordable luxury. It offers connections with people that can massively boost mental health with positive conversations and neighbourly love. We aren't cutting back and actually want to expand. We don't feel now's the time to retreat but to offer incredible working environments where staff want to be. We survived the pandemic when people said we wouldn't, so we are confident of getting through and thriving through this next crisis too. Our priority is always to ensure that we offer our customers value for money, whether through our loyalty scheme to reward customers that support our business with a free coffee or through coffee subscriptions to improve accessibility for our customers to drink great coffee. The government shouldn't ignore us, though. Why don't they bring back the 5% VAT rate, which would further strengthen the industry during these times?
As a small manufacturing and ecommerce jewellery business, we have found the past two months the most challenging in our company's history. Sales in May were flat and June has been diabolical with a decrease in sales of 43%. I have been in the retail jewellery industry for 20 years and I have never been more anxious about the economic situation we currently find ourselves in. With rising inflation, the cost of living crisis and consumer confidence being at an all-time low, the retail sector is heading for armageddon if the Government doesn't step in soon. For our business, sales are far worse now than they were in 2021. We are very much in the luxury retail sector and understandably we are not at the forefront of people's minds at the moment. I myself have changed my buying behaviour in light of the cost of living crisis. People simply are not spending currently on anything that is not essential. As a business we are running sales and promotions to try and help bring more sales in. With rising business costs and the ever-increasing gold price, we are been squeezed hard from all directions. It is a very worrying time for all retailers. I have been in retail jewellery for 20 years and I have never seen consumer confidence so low. The government is not doing nearly enough to support the retail sector. They need to act now and offer a proper support package. For example, reduce VAT to 5% like they did for the hospitality industry during the pandemic. Without immediate action from the Government, the cost of living crisis will be the final nail in the coffin of the High Street and change the landscape of online retail forever. Small online businesses will vanish and we will be left with a cartel of large online retailers.
As a small retailer, May and June and been the been the worst months since we have been in business. We cannot compete with large high street stores slashing prices. We are constantly putting on 50% sales to compete but that means making a loss. Who doesn’t love a bargain, all the more so in the current climate? But this is not sustainable.
The independent retail sector was one of the hardest hit during Covid, with no VAT reduction unlike the hospitality sector, added to which we had to continue paying rents. A VAT reduction would be beneficial to small independent businesses to help with rising costs and overheads. Within the bridal wedding industry, people are still planning their 2023/24 weddings but their budgets for items are lower due to ongoing price rises in other sectors. As a business we have had an exceptionally busy May and June due to us expanding into our newest premises in Knutsford.
Sales have been very low. Even at a local 2-day arts trail with huge footfall, sales were almost non-existent. Online is very similar. People are tightening their belts with the summer holiday season coming and the price cap rise on electricity looming in the autumn. When it’s a choice between heating, food and necessities, small businesses offering non-essentials are at the bottom of the list.
Unsurprisingly, consumers are increasingly making purchase decisions based on cost. We’ve seen a significant dip in sales. With large retailers offering huge discounts, it’s impossible for small independent businesses to compete. We have had a few returning customers asking for favourable rates, which is difficult. We want to help our customers, but we honestly can’t afford to. As a small artisan jewellery business, we have been dealing with huge hikes in precious metal costs as people invest in bullion, as well as increased demand for silver from other industries. This is on top of the increased costs we are facing for everything from the overheads of working from home, to packaging and posting. It’s a neverending money pit that is unlikely to disappear as fuel costs rise and resources and raw materials cost more. Where large jewellery companies often rely on machine-fabricated, reproducible pieces, often made abroad and with the advantage of buying silver in bulk quantities, we buy in tiny quantities and hammer and forge each individual design. Big retail companies have money and teams of marketeers to ensure their products are found online, often with big discounts. From our perspective, a potential customer searching online sees one silver ring available for £30 and something similar that has been handmade for £60. What are they going to do when money is tight?
Sales have been dire for us lately, with costs skyrocketing across the board. Nobody has any money for art, especially investment art pieces. What do we do? Make cheaper and quicker products to survive and lose our identity as talented artists? The government needs to start thinking of those less fortunate than them and wake up.
Sales for May and June have been good and steady as people are shopping for the summer season both for home and away. Our footfall has doubled compared to a year ago so this has helped our sales. The cost of living is a worry, of course. We hope that the Government can do more to help small retail businesses. We recently renewed our energy contract and our bill for the coming year will be more than double. Wholesale clothing prices and shipping costs have gone up, too. If nothing is done, and soon, we will lose more businesses. Locally, I believe that town councils can do more to support all of the town versus just the main squares and high street. Each business brings business into the town so we all need the support of the council to bring customers in.
All of the small businesses on our platform have taken a huge hit to their sales, as consumers are only buying essentials. I have one furniture business that has gone from 200 sales a week to 40 and has had to lay off staff. People are still trying to support local where they can. But the likes of Amazon who offer huge discounts and make it so easy to buy are incredibly difficult for small retailers to compete against. Amazon puts small businesses out of business daily and I think the Government needs to step in and take some control back. The online giants of retail have a merciless monopoly and are draining already struggling retailers with their punitive selling fees. These mega online marketplaces have so much control over online shopping but buyers do not realise how poorly small businesses are treated by them.