Three-quarters of new retailers are home-based

There has been a surge in the number of new digital retail businesses registered at home addresses since the beginning of the pandemic, according to analysis from Experian.

Three quarters (76 per cent) of retail businesses formed since April 2020 are registered at residential addresses, up from 65 per cent between January and March before the pandemic took hold.

Retail accounted for 12.5 per cent of the total number of businesses established in 2020, up from 8.6 per cent of companies formed in 2019 and 7.7 per cent in 2018.

In the separate food and beverage services category, 56 per cent of new businesses have been based from homes since April 2020, up from 42 per cent in the first three months of 2020.

Experian said businesses have adapted quickly to operate and transact virtually during the pandemic. “Digital advancements which were previously thought to be years away have been condensed into a few months,” it said.

As a result of these changes, said Experian, banks and other service providers will “rapidly need to understand the changes in businesses and the directors behind them”, and tailor their services to suit.

James McGarva, managing director of business information services at Experian UK and Ireland, said: “Changes in how we live our lives and where we spend our time have created a demand for services which would once primarily be based on the High Street or in industrial units.

“People who may be on furlough or who have been made redundant have responded to that demand by setting up from their kitchens and spare bedrooms.”

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