UK retail sales plunge to historic lows as pandemic bites

New Ideas in MarketingEssential news for marketers, summarised by YouGov
April 16, 2020, 2:41 PM UTC

KPMG warns the “worst data is yet to emerge” as lockdown came to effect towards the month-end.

UK retail markets dropped drastically in March as the pandemic, and resulting lockdown started taking a toll, according to BRC-KPMG retail sales monitor. Though the first three weeks of March saw a 12% growth in total sales, the last two weeks observed a 27% fall.

Food and essentials, which had faced an unprecedented demand in the run-up to lock down, dropped into negative growth. BRC CEO Helen Dickinson said the rise in “online shopping could not compensate for” the fall observed after shutting down of non-essential retail stores.

KPMG’s UK head of retail Paul Martin said while the retail sector faces an uncertain future, its resilience should not be underestimated. This is the biggest decline since the monitor programme started keeping records in January 1995. 

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