As the UK readied itself to tear up the COVID rules, the retail and ecommerce space seemed uncertain. However, the Office for National Statistics compiled the retail sales statistics for the UK in June 2021, and sheds light on what we expect over the course of the summer.
In June 2021, the retail sales volume increased by 0.5% from May 2021. When compared to February 2020 before the madness of the pandemic began, sales were up 9.5%. So retail looks to be in good shape despite the fact we are still not fully clear of COVID.
Food store sales boosted the sales the most significantly, with an increase in sales of 4.2% compared to the previous month. Of course, June saw England doing rather when in the Euro 2020 football tournament, which will have played a major role in this sector. A lot of BBQs, party food and beer will have been consumed.
Non-food stores had a 1.7% fall in monthly sales volumes, which is the first dip month-on-month since January this year. This is largely due to fewer sales in the clothing and furniture sectors. Fuel sales actually increased 2.3% as people return to the road and travel more frequently, but this is still 2.1% lower than February 2020 levels.
Non-store retailers had a monthly decline in June – 3.7% down from the previous month. Despite this, sales were higher than the pre-pandemic times. June 2021 was actually 39.9% higher than February 2020 figures.
Online retail sales statistics
The proportion of the retail sales which is done online is still higher than the pre-pandemic times.
Despite this, June 2021 saw most retail sectors have a fall in the proportion of online sales, due to the fact that more people were heading to the high street and physical stores.
The total proportion of sales online was 26.7% in June 2021, which is down from 28.4% in May 2021. This is the fourth month in a row of a fall in the proportion of spend online. Despite this, it’s still higher than the 19.9% we saw back in February 2020 – which goes to show that you cannot neglect the importance of ecommerce for online retail despite the fact that restrictions are being lifted.
The value of online spend fell by 4.7% in June compared to May – with the only sector reporting an increase in online sales being clothing. Likely due to the fact people can socialise and were looking to refresh their wardrobe ahead of seeing people in the flesh.
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