As per Office of National Statistics, UK’s retail sales rose by 1.5 per cent in September from August and by 5.5 percent rise from February’s pre-pandemic level. However, apparel sales in August were still 12.7 percent lower than in February in volume terms, and sales at department stores were 0.9 percent lower. Online sales for textiles and apparel increased by 27.7 percent last month, but declined by 1.7 percent from the August
Research firm GfK says, consumer confidence in the U.K. fell by six points to - 31 in the first half of October, representing the lowest reading since May. The report gives economists pause regarding possible layoffs and the direction of any economic recovery if sales continue to decline in the months ahead.
Recently, Rishi Sunak, Chief Financial Minister, UK unveiled a multi-billion-pound jobs support plan for businesses impacted by local lockdowns and government assistance for self-employed and workers receiving wage benefits. However, the disclosure was made at a time when cities such as Coventry and Slough are being moved up to Tier II restrictions, with Nottingham expected to move to Tier III shortly.
The Welsh government earlier this week announced a ‘firebreak’ lockdown through November 9, shutting down all nonessential retail, leisure and hospitality businesses. During this lockdown, Welsh supermarkets can make accessible only certain portions of their stores that sell essential goods. Consumers can still purchase their apparel needs online. However, lost sales from physical stores will hit the retail sector hard and plunge it deeper into a state of devastation,