Is the Retail Sector Slowly Starting to Recover?

Sep 28, 2020
Author: Pete Wilmer
Pete leads the Corporate Finance offering at Hawsons, Pete specialises in advising business acquisitions and disposals, raising finance, business valuations and employee ownership trusts (EOT).

The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics certainly suggest that the retail sector is slowly recovering since the coronavirus crisis. In July 2020 the volume of retail sales increased by 3.6% and is 3% higher than pre-pandemic levels in February 2020. The amount spent in July increased by 4.4% compared to June 2020. These are certainly encouraging indicators that the retail sector is beginning to recover after a difficult time during the lockdown period.


Has the Eat Out to Help Out scheme helped the retail sector?

The Eat Out to Help Out scheme which ran through August was aimed to help out the hospitality sector but did it benefit retail as well?  With the scheme encouraging people back into town centres, footfall increased in areas where retailers are based.  According to data from Springboard, retail footfall increased for the third month in a row in August.  August figures from the Office for National Statistics suggest that high street retail stores did benefit from this with a 0.8% retail sales volume increase month-on-month.  Contrasting this, online retail sales decreased by 2.5% month-on-month demonstrating that more people hit the high streets to make their retail purchases in August rather than ordering online.


More retail jobs are now being created

The Co-op has recently announced that it will be opening 65 stores creating 1000 jobs in local areas across the UK. These new stores are part of a £130 million store investment programme.

In addition, online retailer Amazon has recently announced that they will be creating 7,000 jobs in the UK to help them meet the increasing demand for their products and services.

These new jobs will be crucial as the furlough scheme comes to an end and with unemployment expected to peak over the coming months.


How can we help?

At Hawsons we have a dedicated team of retail, wholesale, and e-commerce accountants at our offices in Sheffield, Doncaster, and Northampton.

Our specialist team offers a wide range of services that are tailored to meet your individual needs. Our understanding of the issues faced by the retail, wholesale and e-commerce sector means that we can proactively seek out ways for you to maximise your profitability and minimise your tax liabilities.

More from our retail experts

You can find all of our latest retail sector news and newsletters here.

If you are looking for advice in a particular area, please get in touch with your usual Hawsons contact.

Alternatively, we offer all new clients a free initial meeting to have a discussion about their own personal circumstances – find out more or book your free initial meeting here. We have offices in Sheffield, Doncaster and Northampton.

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Pete Wilmer

Pete Wilmer

Senior Partner & Head of Corporate Finance, Sheffield
0114 266 7141