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Growth in Online Sales and Wider Retail Industry Problems

26 August 2019 - 13:30 by Graham Miller

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New analysis from Dun & Bradstreet suggests that the UK’s embattled retail sector is managing to stave off deeper disaster thanks to the steady uptick in demand for safe shopping online.

Uncertainty caused by Brexit is cited as the single biggest issue afflicting beleaguered high street chains at the moment, even if there are some signs that bricks and mortar retail is not in an unrecoverable downward spiral.

Researchers also pointed out that one of the key indicators of economic turmoil and consumer reticence was apparent in the car market, with motorists less willing to pay out significant sums to secure new vehicles for the past two years.

The report identifies that by looking at the long-term growth enjoyed by online shopping in the past decade, the fact that it now accounts for almost a fifth of all retail sales should be celebrated.

Experts argue that Brexit is not the only obstacle that retailers will need to overcome going forwards. There are other factors to consider, including the increased expense of fuel, which will put pressure even on outlets that operate purely on the internet, not to mention their high street counterparts.

The number of retailers entering liquidation has tapered off in the past month, which is a welcome reprieve after a protracted period of widespread store closures.

Report spokesperson Markus Kuger said that it was important to keep a close eye on the retail market at the moment and identify the looming dangers posed by Brexit and other outside pressures. He said that even with some studies, including the most recent report from the Office for National Statistics, suggesting a small bounce-back, it was necessary to avoid complacency and instead appreciate that the threats to retail growth need to be dealt with.