Fashion the retail victim again as online gallops ahead

18 Dec 2020

ONS retail sales for November show the impact of renewed Coronavirus restrictions, with retail overall continuing to grow robustly (+7.6% on last November) as consumers face restricted options in terms of leisure and hospitality venues being open and the lack of any serious travel opportunities. The biggest hit was taken again, as has been the case throughout the Covid crisis, by fashion, down 31.5%. It took another major hit as the lack of socialising and working from home reduced scope for spending.

Meanwhile, online growth accelerated, with non-store sales up by nearly a half. For the likes of Amazon and those multichannel retailers who have really aced their online proposition including delivery services, Covid and its attendant government restrictions is the gift that keeps on giving. Food retailers also benefited from a renewed boost to growth, as more people were forced to eat at home rather than going out.

With UK shoppers sitting at home (petrol station sales down 32.2%), yet again, the focus was on spending the home, with the ONS noting a boost to DIY retailers from early purchases of Christmas ranges and preparations for home improvement projects.