Thursday, July 16, 2020

Stockpiling drives retail sales, but volumes expected to fall – CBI

Retail sales for March have been propped up by stockpiling, according to data from the CBI, but volumes are expected to slide.

The monthly CBI Distributive Trends Survey – conducted between 26 February and 13 March – found that overall retail sales were flat in the year to March but, it said, this masked a “sharp divergence” between sectors.

Grocers reported exceptionally strong growth in sales volumes in the year to March, as did specialist food and drink firms.

However, the survey found that most other sectors reported sharp falls in sales volumes, including clothing, furniture and ‘other normal goods’ (such as flowers, jewellery, cards etc).

The results of the survey suggest that while households are stockpiling groceries in response to the spread of the coronavirus and the introduction of social distancing, they are putting off purchases of non-essential items.

In line with this, non-store retailers reported a fall in sales volumes, while internet sales growth slowed to a below-average pace.

Looking ahead, retail sales volumes are expected to fall sharply in the year to April, with retailers more pessimistic than at any time since April 2009. This reflects a continued fall in volumes across most sectors, with grocers expecting sales to be stable over the year.

Orders placed upon suppliers fell for the eleventh consecutive month, despite a strong rise in orders placed by grocers. Orders are expected to fall across most sectors in the year to April (including grocers), with expectations the weakest since April 2009.

Sales were seen as poor for the time of year, but to a lesser extent than last month. Next month, sales are expected to be poor for the time of year – to the greatest extent since February 2009.

“These are extraordinary times for the retail sector. Grocers are seeing a temporary increase in demand because of coronavirus. But many other retailers are seriously suffering as households put off non-essential purchases and social distancing keeps people away from the High Street,” said CBI Principal Economist, Ben Jones.

“The Government and Bank of England have already taken welcome, substantial steps to support business during this unprecedented period.

“What’s needed now is clarity over the support available to firms and fast action to ensure measures announced last week are accessible to businesses of all sizes.”

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this story on our news site - please take a moment to read this important message:

As you know, our aim is to bring you, the reader, an editorially led news site and magazine but journalism costs money and we rely on advertising, print and digital revenues to help to support them.

With the Covid-19 lockdown having a major impact on our industry as a whole, the advertising revenues we normally receive, which helps us cover the cost of our journalists and this website, have been drastically affected.

As such we need your help. If you can support our news sites/magazines with either a small donation of even £1, or a subscription to our magazine, which costs just £33.60 per year, (inc p&P and mailed direct to your door) your generosity will help us weather the storm and continue in our quest to deliver quality journalism.

As a subscriber, you will have unlimited access to our web site and magazine. You'll also be offered VIP invitations to our events, preferential rates to all our awards and get access to exclusive newsletters and content.

Just click here to subscribe and in the meantime may I wish you the very best.






Latest news

Rutland retail distributor lands seven-figure finance facility

A distributor of outdoor and country clothing to retailers across the UK and Europe, has secured a seven-figure finance facility from HSBC UK to...

Property consultancy wins contract on one of the largest ever strategic water infrastructure projects

An East Midlands property consultancy has won a contract to act as land agents on one of the largest strategic water infrastructure projects the...

New Northamptonshire office for top 40 UK accounting firm

Streets Chartered Accountants, a top 40 UK accounting firm, has opened a new Northamptonshire office at the recently opened Enterprise Centre East Northants (ECEN). The...

Grimsby Future High Streets Fund bid approved for submission

Councillors have approved the submission of a major bid to Government for £25m of funding to help regenerate Grimsby town centre. The proposals have been...

Streets provide further details on Chancellor’s key announcements

Following the Chancellor’s Economic Statement last week, Streets Chartered Accountants has released a special update providing further details on the key announcements made. In particular,...

Related news

Adzooma extends free access to its platform indefinitely

Nottingham-based digital and technology platform provider, Adzooma, will be offering free access to its entire platform for all businesses. Adzooma had previously opened up free...

Rutland retail distributor lands seven-figure finance facility

A distributor of outdoor and country clothing to retailers across the UK and Europe, has secured a seven-figure finance facility from HSBC UK to...

Property consultancy wins contract on one of the largest ever strategic water infrastructure projects

An East Midlands property consultancy has won a contract to act as land agents on one of the largest strategic water infrastructure projects the...

New Northamptonshire office for top 40 UK accounting firm

Streets Chartered Accountants, a top 40 UK accounting firm, has opened a new Northamptonshire office at the recently opened Enterprise Centre East Northants (ECEN). The...

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.

Close