UK online sales jump 167% in February

UK e-commerce sales jumped by 167 per cent last month, a record high for online shopping.

Although online sales propped up total like-for-like sales, according to BDO’s latest High Street Sales Tracker, closed High Street shops contributed to an overall 3.1 per cent sales decline for February.

The drop in overall sales represents the second worst result since August 2020.
BDO’s research found that the lifestyle sales declined by 15.6 per cent in February, while fashion did better with a decrease of 3.6 per cent.

Homeware did particularly well, experiencing a 32 per cent increase in sales last month.

“As we mark a year of COVID’s impact on retail and the wider economy, we’ve seen total retail sales decline by around 8 per cent on average each month,” said Sophie Michael, head of retail and wholesale, BDO LLP. “Obviously, there is still a long road ahead but with shops looking at reopening there were a few positive signs this month."

She added: “Consumer confidence improved slightly, probably thanks to the vaccine roll-out, and the fashion sector had its best result in months as shoppers eyed the end of lockdown.”

She said a key part of driving the UK’s economic recovery is likely to come from unlocking consumer spending and that the government’s continued support is vital to making this happen.

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