The Office for National Statistics recently reported that the number of goods sold in June increased by 13.9%, exceeding the expectations of 8% growth. The sales of non-food goods grew by a whopping 53.6% and food sales were 5.3% higher.
An increasing number of shoppers are visiting stores in person as the proportion of online spending reduced to 31.8% in the same period.
These figures show signs of welcome recovery in the retail sector following the three-month lockdown period, although it remains to be seen whether the new directive around compulsory face masks will have an impact on this recovery.
June also saw non-food stores – including department and clothes shops – partially recovering from big falls during the lockdown, but were still 15% lower than in February. While this growth is undoubtedly a ray of light for the retail sector, there is still much debate over what the future holds, as companies across the country adapt to the new era of retail operations and consumer behaviour.
Will Broome, Founder and CEO of retail-tech company Ubamarket, has been on the front lines of innovation in the retail sector, helping companies to revolutionise their operations by integrating with mobile technology. He comments: “The news of June’s sales growth is fantastic news for both the retail sector and the wider economy, and it is more important than ever that we are able to sustain this growth.
“In order to do so, the whole shopping experience must be revitalised and transformed to raise consumer confidence by diversifying their sales channels, boost their online presence and truly revolutionise the in-store experience. This would aid in creating an environment for customers that is not only safe and hygienic, but truly personalised and experiential. Retail technology is one option which offers a solution to a number of these challenges, enabling retailers to easily uphold safety guidelines whilst also hyper personalising and improving the convenience of the in-store experience.
“I am extremely interested to see how the retail sector fares in the coming months, and as an industry leader in the field of mobile technology for retail and hospitality, the Ubamarket team has got a lot of work to do to help retailers orient themselves in this new landscape and usher in this new age of British retail!”.