Shoppers revenge

Staycationers help boost retail sales to record rise

high street shopping at Easter

Shoppers were back after months of lockdown restrictions (pic: Terry Murden)

Retail sales across the UK soared by record levels over the past three months in a sign of “shopping revenge” amid warmer weather and people staying at home instead of going on holiday.

The latest BRC-KPMG monitor showed a rebound in like-for-like for sales as consumers opened their wallets.

Total sales rose 10.4% between April and June compared with June 2019 with June sales rising by 13.1%.

However, despite the reopening of shops footfall fell by 27.6% in June and was up by just 0.1 percentage points on May as consumers preferred to shop from home.

Online non-food sales were up 40.3% over the three-month period and by 31.3% in June, against a growth of 1.5% in June 2019.

Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the British Retail Consortium, said: “With many people taking staycations, or cheaper UK-based holidays, many have found they have a little extra to spend at the shops, with strong growth in-store in June.”

Ms Dickinson added that fashion and footwear sales were strong in the first half of the month with football fever helping to spark strong TV sales later in June.

“Nonetheless, UK retail is still facing strong headwinds with many retailers still making up for ground lost during the previous lockdowns,” said Ms Dickinson.

“City centre retailers continue to suffer low footfall and spending as commuters and international tourist numbers remained well below pre-pandemic levels.

“Footfall is down on pre-pandemic levels, as the public are making more purposeful shopping trips, with less browsing and more buying.

“With most overseas holidays on hold, many Britons have sought out-of-town escapes while foreign tourist numbers have fallen. This appears to have helped footfall in smaller towns and cities.”

Paul Martin UK head of retail at KPMG, said: “Retailers are facing challenges on a number of fronts, particularly convincing consumers that it’s safe to shop in store as restrictions around mask wearing and social distancing come to an end.”

Boost to Stirling centre

Thistles shopping centre in Stirling has attracted two new tenants. Leading Labels and Blue Inc, will add to its fashion offering.

Blue Inc, a menswear brand, will operate from a 2,322 sq ft unit, which previously housed Burton. Leading Labels, a multi-brand fashion retailer has taken a 3,155 sq ft unit.

The new stores follow the arrival of watch and jewellery repair company, Time Inc and beauty kiosk, Beauty Boutique, in May.

Thistles director Gary Turnbull said: “After a troubling 2020 and start to this year things are really looking up, with footfall moving much closer towards what it was in 2019, pre-pandemic, which is really encouraging.”

New York store for St James Quarter

Luxury accessories brand Kate Spade New York has opened a unit at St James Quarter, Edinburgh.

The fashion house was founded in 1993 and sells designer handbags, accessories, jewellery and clothing.

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