February retail sales grew by 1.2% but this increase is still being largely masked by high levels of inflation. Fruit and vegetable shortages have particularly impacted this, with prices rising at the fastest rate in 45 years. Consumers are choosing to eat in more, as opposed to restaurant dining, and the pickup in supermarket sales reflects this.
With many shoppers now turning to discount stores and second-hand shops amid the cost-of-living crisis, all retailers are focused on price and value. As consumers’ purse strings continue to feel the squeeze, this price differentiation will continue to be key. However, retailers mustn’t lose sight of other ways to win over customers. Having a strong digital strategy is crucial to survive this trying period, especially with further store closures likely to be announced by brands in the coming months.