// The sales of clothing online set expected to overtake in-store shopping next year
// Bricks and mortar retailers could risk a £14.5bn dent in sales by the middle of the decade
The online sales of clothing is set to overtake in-store shopping next year in a major turning point for high street retailers.
Digital purchases jumped by £2.7 billion during the Covid-19 pandemic, despite total apparel transactions plunging by £9.6 billion, according to a new report from Retail Economics and Eversheds Sutherland.
The news has accelerated the trend towards the internet, which had previously been expected to overtake physical clothing stores in 2025.
Britain is now set to be the first European nation where most clothes are bought online, with the Netherlands expected to follow in 2025, and France and Germany only in subsequent years.
Over a third of UK shoppers surveyed said they will not return to shops as often as they did prior to the pandemic, compared with a quarter in the rest of Europe.
Analysts have warned that if nothing is done to counter the new pattern of sales, high street clothing retailers risk a £14.5 billion dent in sales by the middle of the decade.
Last week, Chancellor Rishi Sunak handed a 50pc rates discount worth £7 billion to high street shops, pubs and restaurants hammered by the pandemic, in the biggest cut to the tax in 20 years.