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12.6 Billion in Sales Set to Evaporate from UK Retail Sector This Year

07 April 2020 - 09:03 by Graham Miller

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Analysts at GlobalData published statistics which suggest that the spread of COVID-19 and the measure introduced to prevent it passing between members of the public will cost British retailers £12.6 billion in lost sales over the course of the year.

In terms of the segments of the market that are likely to suffer the most severe consequences of the pandemic, fashion and footwear outlets are at the top of this list with both in-store sales and those made via safe shopping online expected to drop by 20.6 per cent in 2020, peaking at just over £11 billion.

It is not all doom and gloom, since the rise in sales from supermarkets caused by people staying home and cooking for themselves rather than eating out will likely hit 7.1 per cent, equivalent to a £6.8 billion year-on-year increase.

There have already been signs that certain parts of the retail sector are suffering, with a number of high street brands, including Cath Kidston and Debenhams, posting warnings that they may need to go into administration in order to cope with the significant financial pressures placed on them by coronavirus.

The UK’s bricks and mortar retail market was already staring down the barrel of a fairly tough year before the pandemic struck, so it is safe to assume that this is only the beginning in terms of the big names that will go under.

Skyrocketing online sales have been seen in many product categories, although there are also concerns about the risks being posed to warehouse and delivery staff, who have to continue working at a time when those in other industries are being sent home to avoid spreading the virus further. With tougher lockdown restrictions being considered, a lot is still up in the air.