The Office of National Statistics (ONS) retail sales figures for June showed sales soared by over 13% compared to May, to reach near-normal levels. Indeed, with fuel sales excluded, they actually beat June 2019’s figures by 1.5%.
However, the home delivery company ParcelHero is warning stores that the devil is in the detail, and 31% of all the sales were actually made online as e-commerce shows little sign of retreating to pre-Covid levels.
ParcelHero’s Head of Consumer Services, David Jinks MILT, says the figures are great news for consumers who want their favourite stores to survive but warns shops that don’t sell online as well as on the High Street that their days must be numbered. Says David:
“This is the second consecutive month of soaring growth, following the record collapse during March and April. When compared with February 2020, just before the pandemic hit, the volume of sales is just 0.6% down.
“However, those stores with their head still in the sand over the growth of online sales must wake up to the truth. Online sales skyrocketed by 61.9% in June 2020 when compared with February 2020. That’s an increase of £943.5 million for average weekly sales, from £1.5 billion in February to just under £2.5 billion in June. That’s money High Street stores cannot afford to lose.
“And it’s still a far from consistent picture for all retail sectors. While food sales are booming, non-food sales are still markedly down on pre-pandemic levels, and those sales that are made are more likely to be online. Department store shop sales slumped -28% in June compared to pre-Covid 19 levels in February, while their online site’s sales have boomed by 113%. Department stores need to embrace selling online as wholeheartedly as possible.
“Likewise, High Street and shopping centre clothing sales collapsed an eyewatering -50.8% compared to February, while online fashion sales climbed 28.6%. In all, total non-food store sales are down -32% compared to February, but online non-food sales have soared by 73%.
“There’s a tiny chink of light for sellers who don’t have an online presence. In all, e-commerce sales as a slice of the overall retail pie fell back slightly from 33.3% in May to 31.8% in June. However, considering the majority of non-essential stores reopened in June, that’s not much of a comfort.
“An omnichannel sales strategy, embracing both shop and online sales, with both services complimenting the other, is the only way forward for stores as retail claws its way back from the clutches of the coronavirus.”