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.