Retailers in UK see sharp fall in sales and mounting job losses.

February 26, 2021 written by

The Confederation of British Industry’s gauge of retail sales stood at -45, up only slightly from January’s eight-month low of -50

Retail sales fell in the year, as stores cut jobs rapidly, with only supermarkets reporting any growth during the latest COVID-19 lockdown.

The Confederation of British Industry’s gauge of retail sales stood at -45, up only slightly from January’s eight-month low of -50.

Retailers’ expectations for March – when non-essential shops will remain closed to the public as part of lockdown measures – fell to -62, the lowest since the series began in 1983.

In another sign of changing consumer habits during the lockdown, the survey’s gauge of internet retail sales hit a new record high.

Record growth in internet shopping suggests that retailers’ investments in on-line platforms and click-and-collect services may be paying off, but the re-opening of the sector can’t come soon enough to protect jobs and breathe life back into the sector.

Job losses among retailers accelerated according to a quarterly question in the survey. For the distribution sector as a whole, which includes wholesalers and car dealers, employment fell at a record rate.

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