The latest projections by retail intelligence group Springboard offer a bleak outlook for UK retail this Christmas.
Overall footfall to British retail stores will be down by 59% from 2019, with high streets a noteable 67% quieter.
Online Sales Continue to Boom
While it’s certain the high streets as we know it are changing forever, the rise in online sales continues to pick up the slack.
Industry body for the internet IMRG put online sales at 56% higher than 2019 last week, as internet retailers offered unparalled discounts.
Consumer website Money.co.uk reported that 8/10 shoppers were planning to make a Black Friday purchase online, at an average outlay of £350.
Research by the Centre for Retail Research (CRR) predicr that online sales in 2020 will be nearly £2bn higher at £5.8bn. In stark contrast, retail stores will lose out on £3bn of business, to take just £1.7bn.
Insolvency practitioner Simon Renshaw comments “These statistics reflect the tremendous sense of gloom in the traditional retail sector this year but it’s clear the shift is not 100% down to COVID-19. We’re seeing a generational shift towards online trading which the Coronavirus has exacerbated rather than caused. Those businesses which survive will be the ones that are the most agile in their transformation to the new digital paradigm.”