ONS retail figures: are pre-pandemic retail levels here to stay?


`With retail sales volumes up 9.5% compared to pre-COVID levels, this signals the bounce back from restrictions that we’ve all been hoping for. With warmer weather, the excitement of the Euros and more people taking staycations, this has been the perfect recipe for shoppers to return to high streets and spend.

This sense of normalcy is being welcomed with open arms. But too much damage was done to stores during lockdown to say which businesses will ultimately survive in a vaccinated world, especially with the new variant causing concerns.

The retailers that consistently maintain these positive numbers will be those that are re-evaluating their brick and mortar presence, as we’ve started to see many do, while investing in omnichannel customer experiences. Shoppers’ behaviours have changed to reward the retailers who have made it most convenient, yet experiential, to make purchase decisions.