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Online Sales Growth Boom Period Ends as Normality Returns

24 August 2020 - 10:24 by David Aiken

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A new report from the Office for National Statistics has shown that July was a more modest month for e-commerce in the UK, with web-based sales falling by seven per cent compared with June as restrictions on bricks and mortar store openings were lifted.

The good news is that the industry surrounding safe shopping online is still in a far stronger position than it was earlier in the year, with July’s sales still sitting at 50 per cent higher than those made in February of 2020, according to Internet Retailing.

Meanwhile, the entire retail market managed to make a small overall recovery last month, with sales growing by two per cent, which is ten times greater than had been predicted by analysts a month earlier.

Experts delivered a number of explanations for this better than expected performance, including the fact that people were eager to get out of the house after months of lockdown and also the fact that the fine weather made it more appealing to make purchases.

Lower levels of COVID-19 infections also helped to convince more people to start spending again, and the introduction of the government’s scheme to boost spending in restaurants was another catalyst cited by retail specialists.

The final factor at play is that as the summer holidays got underway, more people were getting into the idea of the ‘staycation’, either spending time off in their own homes or sticking to domestic travel only for their breaks with family.

There are still dire warnings about the state of UK retail being issued by insiders and observers, although the majority of the concern is being directed at the high street, while online operators seem to be in a better position than ever to continue thriving in the current circumstances.