Online spending drives retail sales post-lockdown

BDO High Street Sales Tracker
BDO’s latest High Street Sales Tracker showed that total like-for-like sales jumped 83.3%
// BDO’s latest High Street Sales Tracker recorded 83.3% in total like-for-like sales
// This marked the third consecutive month of positive like-for-like fashion sales
// Despite the reopening of stores, online like-for-like sales rose 9.7% in May

New research has shown that online sales have helped to bolster the overall growth of the fashion retail sector in May – the first full post-lockdown month.

BDO’s latest High Street Sales Tracker (HSST) showed that total like-for-like sales jumped 83.3 per cent from a base of 22.6 per cent for May last year.

This marked the third consecutive month of positive like-for-like fashion sales.


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Meanwhile, the lifestyle category saw total like-for-like sales reach their highest result on record, surging 85.4 per cent in May from a base of 30 per cent for the equivalent month last year.

This also marked the third straight month of positive total like-for-like sales.

Despite the reopening of stores, total online like-for-like sales rose a steady 9.7 per cent in May.

Online shopping rose by a colossal 129.5 per cent during the period.

Total like-for-like sales, combined in-store and online, trebled in May, from a base of 18.3 per cent for the equivalent month last year.

“The figures for May continue the encouraging results we saw in April and suggest that the building blocks for a sustained recovery are steadily falling into place,” BDO head of retail and wholesale, Sophie Michael said.

“There is clear progress being made following the reopening of stores, with consumer confidence and retail sales approaching pre-pandemic levels.

“This is good news for retailers operating in discretionary spend sectors such as fashion and lifestyle, which were particularly impacted as a result of the lockdowns.

“The continued strength of online sales suggests that some consumer behaviours adopted during lockdown have stuck, illustrating the ongoing importance for a blended multichannel approach from retailers.

“Product relevance and customer engagement through all channels will be key to trading success.

“With rising temperatures and the prospect of the further easing of restrictions improving the public mood, retailers will be hoping for a great summer boom.”

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