Retail

British Retail Sales Volumes Climb 0.8 Pct In August

British Retail Sales Volumes Climb 0.8 Pct In August

Retail sales volumes in Great Britain rose by 0.8 percent in August in contrast to July, marking the fourth straight month of expansion, according an Office for National Statistics news release.

“Volume sales within non-store retailing increased sharply in April and May, and sales in August were 38.9 percent higher than February 2020. This was driven by a shift to online orders during lockdown because of temporary store closures for non-essential stores,” the office said in the Friday (Sept. 18) release.

Overall retail sales volumes in August were 4 percent higher than in February. Industries that exceeded February’s pre-COVID-19 levels were non-store retailing, household goods, food stores and other non-food retailing.

“All other sectors have shown a slower rate of growth since lockdown and continued to recover,” the office said in its release.

Retail sales values in August climbed by 0.7 percent in contrast to July and 2.5 percent in contrast to February.

The report said eCommerce retail sales dropped by 2.5 percent in August in contrast to July. However, the office noted that “strong growth experienced over the pandemic has meant that sales were still 46.8 percent higher than February’s pre-pandemic levels.”

Home improvement spending remained on the uptick in August since sales volumes in household goods shops rose 9.9 percent in contrast to February.

The news comes as retail employment in Britain has plummeted by 45 percent as of May in its most dramatic fall as of the 2009 recession, according to the Confederation of British Industry (CBI).

eCommerce sales appear to be encroaching on typical brick-and-mortar retail, with internet sales in Britain increasing 46 percent in the year through August, according to CBI. The sales are expected to remain on the uptick and are forecast to be approximately 48 percent in September.

In July, a report emerged that retail sales returned to almost pre-pandemic lockdown levels in June when non-essential stores in Britain opened again. Sales volumes rose by 14 percent in June from May.

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