While the on-trade sectors have seen the first shoots of recovery since being able to reopen, UK retail sales volumes have increased beyond predicted levels. Increasing by 5.4% for March which is well above the forecasted 1.5% increase. Compared to March 2020, this represents a 1.6% increase year-on-year for the industry.
The growth in the market has been primarily lead by clothing stores which are up 17.5% on the month, garden centres with 7.4% growth and auction houses which are up 29.4%. There has also been a reported increase in the purchase of mobility equipment from older consumers who after being vaccinated were venturing out into the world again.
Lisa Hooker, consumer markets leader at the consultancy PwC, noted that sustained recovery was essential:
“However, much though these figures will give cheer to the whole sector, retailers will be hoping that these positive signs translate into a sustained return to the physical stores as they reopen across the UK over the course of April.”