BDO has published its latest High Street Sales Tracker, revealing that total like-for-like (LFL) sales, combined in-store and online, increased by 20.1% in August from a base of -3.3% for the equivalent month last year. These positive results indicate a new wave of optimism for the retail industry but a lot has changed in the last year and there is set to be a long-lasting impact on consumer shopping behaviour.
Richard Willis, RVP Solution Consulting EMEA & APAC at Aptos (the retail technology provider), comments:“The bank holiday weekend, summer staycations and back-to-school purchases no doubt fuelled the shopping wave in August. The next five months provide myriad opportunities to recoup lost sales, particularly for retailers that were hit the hardest by the mandatory store closures.”
“The return to offices and the resurgence of social events, staycations, back-to-school shopping, and the ‘golden quarter’ will create a perfect storm of demand. The major challenge here is ensuring that retailers have enough inventory on hand in the right places to meet this demand.”
“As the summer holiday draws to a close and the golden quarter is on the horizon, retailers need to be at the ready. Stores need to become experience centres and showrooms for brands. Retailers will be looking at ways digital technologies can enhance the store experience. We are seeing the greatest interest in areas such as self-scanning on mobile apps, appointment bookings, clienteling for more personalised service, RFID for inventory control, and contactless shopping.”