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Second lockdown to cost non-essential retailers 6.8 billion pounds

By Andrea Byrne

4 Nov 2020

Retail

Non-essential retailers in England are expected to see a decline in sales of 6.8 billion pounds due to the UK’s second lockdown starting on 5 November.

Sales across the apparel sector are predicted to decrease as consumers’ needs for new outfits will not be as strong due to cancelled parties and limited social gatherings, according to Retail Economics.

Independent high street retailers are expected to face the biggest hit in sales. However, it is expected that the closure of non-essential stores until 2 December will increase online sales by an estimated 2.9 billion pounds compared to 2019. Increased sales are more likely to benefit established online retailers and stores with a variety of multi-channels.

Lockdown ‘couldn’t have come at a worse time for retailers’

It comes after Boris Johnson announced England would be going into a second lockdown in an effort to combat a spike in Covid-19 cases. This time round, schools, colleges and universities will remain open.

Johnson said the lockdown is expected to last until 2 December, after which the three-tier regional system will be reintroduced.

Retail Economics’ senior consultant, Nicholas Found, said in a statement: “With Christmas around the corner, this couldn’t have come at a worse time for retailers. Lockdown measures have ensured it will be a digital Christmas and Black Friday will become even more important this year are shoppers bring forward festive purchases during this extended event.”

Found continued: “But capacity will be stretched to the limit as a new wave of online shoppers purchase gifts online that they previously would only have ever considered buying in-store. While some consumers will choose to hold off spending this month, pent up demand in December could leave shoppers grappling queues both on- and offline given social distancing in warehouses, delivery capacity and restrictions on shopper numbers in-store.”

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