retail industry

UK retail sales extend recovery from virus slump

Agence France-Presse

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UK retail sales extend recovery from virus slump

A woman carries her shopping bags as she walks past a clothing shop in London on August 12, 2020. - Britain's economy contracted by a record 20.4 percent in the second quarter with the country in lockdown over the novel coronavirus pandemic, official data showed Wednesday. "It is clear that the UK is in the largest recession on record," the Office for National Statistics said. Britain officially entered recession in the second quarter after gross domestic product (GDP) contracted by 2.2 percent in the first three months of the year. (Photo by Tolga AKMEN / AFP)


Retail sales are up 5.5% since February 2020, one month before Britain went into lockdown

British retail sales have climbed for the 5th month in a row, after a coronavirus-fueled slump earlier this year, official data showed on Friday, October 23.

Sales by volume rose 1.5% in September from August, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said in a statement.

Retail sales were up 5.5% since February, one month before Britain went into lockdown.

The ONS added that online sales declined slightly in September from August to stand at 27.5% of all sales. However, this was still higher than the 20.1% seen in February.

And in the 3 months to September, total retail sales volumes soared by 17.4% compared with the prior 3 months.

That was the biggest quarterly increase on record, according to the ONS.

“Growth in retail sales is beating even the most optimistic expectations,” said Richard Lim, chief executive of research consultancy Retail Economics. 

“Consumers have proved extremely resilient as canceled holidays, fewer trips out, and less commuting have boosted discretionary spending power to the benefit of some parts of the retail sector.

“Christmas 2020 is going to be like no other and we’re also likely to be seeing signs of consumers starting their Christmas shopping earlier.” –

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