UK retailers report strong sales in May after lockdown ends, Retail News, ET Retail


LONDON, – UK retailers reported a sharp increase in sales in May, after lockdowns ended the previous month and an easing of COVID restrictions on hospitality drew more shoppers to city centers, said industry data showed Tuesday.

The British Retail Consortium said total sales for its members, which include supermarkets and chain stores, were 10.0% higher last month than in May two years ago.

This is the biggest increase in sales compared to 2019 since the start of the pandemic.

“The May rain did not dampen consumer demand and shoppers continued to return to Main Street,” said Paul Martin, retail manager at survey sponsor KPMG.

Compared with May 2020, when most non-food retailers were closed due to lockdown restrictions, total sales increased 28.4%.

Clothing, footwear and furniture saw particularly strong sales gains, the BRC said, benefiting from the ability for shoppers to see the goods in person as non-essential retailers were allowed to reopen in April after months. closing.

The relaxed restrictions on socializing also encouraged shoppers to purchase new summer clothes.

Payment processor Barclaycard, which records nearly half of credit and debit card transactions, said consumer spending was 7.6% higher than in May two years ago.

Pubs and restaurants were able to serve customers indoors from May 17, but only at reduced capacity.

Barclaycard said spending at restaurants last month was still 54% lower than it was two years ago, while spending at pubs and bars was 19% lower. But that was an improvement from April, when sales were down 74% and 67% respectively.

Travel abroad remains very limited. Spending with airlines was 74% lower than in May 2019, slightly better than in April.


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