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Online Shopping Gains Ground in Weak Retail Market Conditions

09 July 2019 - 13:58 by Paul Tissington

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The UK’s retail sector saw a sales increase of just 0.6 per cent in June, although this rise was only achieved thanks to the stimulus provided by safe shopping online.

Figures from the British Retail Consortium painted a troubling picture of the state of the market at the moment, with bricks-and-mortar sales slipping by 4.3 per cent compared with the same month last year.

In the world of the web, sales were up by four per cent, which is somewhat promising in isolation. However, when compared with the 8.5 per cent growth seen in June of 2018 and the double-digit expansion that used to typify the e-commerce market, it is far less impressive.

Report spokesperson Helen Dickinson expounded upon a number of the causes for this precarious position that retail finds itself in. She said that even with average wages managing to grow, consumers are not being compelled to spend their spare cash because of the uncertainty posed by Brexit.

As with many other industry figures and experts, Dickinson said that the government now had a responsibility to ensure that a no-deal scenario for the UK’s exit from the EU did not occur on the 31st of October. This is not just about making sure that international trading can continue after this point but also about shielding retailers from the serious knock that they would take if this occurs just before Christmas.

Insiders indicate that there are a number of interesting trends that have become apparent in the latest figures. It seems that even significant discounting and in-store offers made by bricks-and-mortar outlets have not been enough to coax customers to part with their cash.

Consumers being more frugal at times of uncertainty is to be expected, but the confidence sink that Brexit is proving to be has lasted a long time and shows no sign of letting up.