Responding to the latest RSI results, which showed a 18.6% decline in overall sales (excluding fuel: J3L2), Kyle Monk, Head of Retail Insight and Analytics at the British Retail Consortium, said:
“The RSI confirms what store managers and shop owners have already seen – that coronavirus continues to be a threat to the survival of shops up and down the country. Clothing stores were particularly hard hit by lockdown, with sales down almost 70% since February. Many of these stores will be relying on a successful opening in June if they are to survive. Digital sales soared, with the proportion spent online rising to three in every ten pounds. Not only were many items, ordinarily found on the high street, only available online, but many people moved to food delivery in response to the coronavirus threat.
“Retailers urgently need clarity on the reopening of shops in June. Shops need time to prepare and the certainty to do so, before they spend millions on necessary safety and social distancing measures. By getting more of retail up and running, not only can customers get all the products they need, but the industry can play its part in protecting jobs and kick starting the economy.”