Online sales fall in February despite end of Covid-19 restrictions


The ONS retail sales figures for February show sales unexpectedly fell by 0.3% in February, despite the ending of Covid-19 restrictions in England.

The value of online sales also fell 0.7%, as ParcelHero says consumers grew alarmed about rising energy costs and Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

February’s retail sales figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) saw an unexpected fall of 0.3% in the amount of goods sold during February. Even the value of goods bought online fell by -0.7% against the previous month. The home delivery expert ParcelHero says this was largely down to fears about rising household bills, which this week’s mini-budget will have done little to calm.

Says ParcelHero’s Head of Consumer Research, David Jinks:

“After a healthy pickup in spending in January of 2%, this fall in the amount of goods sold compared to January was disappointing for retailers, and does not augur well for future months. This was particularly disappointing considering that England’s remaining Covid-19 restrictions ended on 24 February.”

“Fears over a potential invasion of Ukraine, which eventually happened (also on 24 February), together with eye-watering rises in home energy bills, meant consumers kept their hands firmly in their pockets and away from their wallets.”

Online sales fell 0.7% against January 2022 and by a steep 18.1% against the same period last year, February 2021. Online spending now accounts for 27.8% of all retail spending, against a high of 36.5% of all retail spending in February 2021. In January, e-commerce took just 25.3% of the entire retail spend, so that’s an increase in e-commerce’s market share of 9.8% month-on-month.

Adds David Jinks:

“Longer term, UK retailers must align their High Street and online sales to counteract a likely further fall in consumer confidence in the months ahead. ParcelHero’s influential report “2030: Death of the High Street” reveals that, unless retailers develop an omnichannel approach, embracing both online and physical store sales, the High Street as we know it will reach a dead-end by 2030.”

Read the full report at:

Chris Price
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