UK textile & footwear online sales grew 10.9% MoM in March 2021

Online spending in the UK increased by 0.6 percent MoM in March 2021, with strong growth in textile, clothing, and footwear stores of 10.9 percent. This was the largest monthly growth in the sector since June 2020 with feedback from retailers suggesting that the upcoming easing of coronavirus restrictions had prompted consumers to update their wardrobes.

The proportion spent online decreased to 34.7 percent in March 2021, down from 36.2 percent in February 2021 but still above the 23.1 percent reported in March 2020, according to the report released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). The value of online spending did increase in March, but spending in-store increased at a faster rate.

Retail sales volumes continued to recover in March 2021, with an increase of 5.4 percent when compared with the previous month reflecting the effect of the easing of restrictions on consumer spending. Sales were 1.6 percent higher than February 2020 before the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, the report said.

Despite strong March figures, retail sales in the UK for the first quarter have been subdued overall. In the three months to March 2021, retail sales volume fell by 5.8 percent when compared with the previous three months, with strong declines in both clothing stores and other non-food stores as a result of the tighter lockdown restrictions in place.

Total retail sales levels for both the amount spent and quantity bought were lower than pre-pandemic levels in both January and February 2021. However, March marked a return to sales levels higher than those witnessed in February 2020, before the pandemic began, despite continued restrictions to non-essential retail, as per ONS.


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