Why YOUR Business Needs to Move Online
Brick and mortar retailers suffered the worst annual sales performance since records began, according to data released by the British Retail Consortium (BRC). Driven in part by reduced demand for homeware and fashion products, non-food sales fell by around 5%. These figures, along with others revealed in the report, show that there has never been a better time to move your business online.
While non-food sales fell by around 5%, food sales experienced a growth of 5.4% as compared to 2019. This was attributed to shoppers stocking up during the pandemic. Food sales rose by a massive 44.8% in December, with a huge proportion of this shopping taking place online.
Overall, retail sales fell by 0.3% during 2020, a year that was almost entirely dominated by the COVID-19 pandemic. This figure represents the worst annual change since the BRC started collating these figures back in 1995.
As so many brick and mortar stores were forced to remain closed over Christmas, the peak period for trading, there was 'little respite for these retailers'. Physical non-food stores, including all non-essential retail stores, saw their sales drop by a massive 25% as compared with the same time period in 2019.
Paul Martin is the UK Head of Retail for consultancy firm KPMG. Commenting on the BRC's recently-released figures, he said: "Once again we saw big swings in the types of products being purchased and the channels used for shopping, with much of the growth taking place online, where nearly half of all non-food purchases were made." He went on to warn that the new lockdown would 'worsen conditions' for non-essential shops and the High Street in general.
In related news, a report released by the Centre for Retail Research (CRR) showed that 2020 was the worst year for job losses on the high street in over 25 years, with COVID-19 accelerating the growth of online shopping. Almost 180,000 high street retail jobs were lost last year, a rise of nearly 25% from 2019.
It is clear that NOW is the time to move your business online. If you have already done so, then it's time to make your online presence as successful as it can be. Whatever situation you're in, you can trust Brickweb to create and maintain your e-commerce website. Find out more about our solutions and services on our website, where you can also request a FREE audit of your current website.