The latest retail sales figures for February, issued by the Office of National Statistics, show that retail was largely unaffected by the impact of coronavirus, although some retailers did struggle with shipments from China due to the factories being closed for an extended period.
Flooding in some areas of the UK, as well as heavy rainfall, meant the many retailers were hit, to include gift retailers Mooch, who have shops in Bewdley and Stourport-on-Severn, and Bentleys, also located in Stourport.
“We had two weeks of poor trade during the flooding, seeing a 50% dip in takings, with no grant or support from our local council even when promised,” Mooch’s co-owner Jon May told GiftsandHome.net. “We were starting to recover and then coronavirus hit.”
The ONS figures revealed that the value and volume of retail sales dropped by 0.5% and 0.3% respectively, compared to the previous month.
Commented Ryan Broomfield, partner and retail specialist at RSM: “It will also be interesting to see the numbers on wider e-commerce sales in the March period, as most people work from home. However, what’s clear is that even before coronavirus hit, many operators were already struggling. With such uncertainty surrounding the length of the lockdown, it is likely to be some time before normality – and consumer confidence – returns.”
Top: February saw high street sales dip.