The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has reported that retail sales have fallen at their fastest pace in four months in October, due to localised lockdowns and concerns around a second wave of coronavirus.
The CBI’s latest monthly distributive trades survey fell from 11% to -23% in October, with 36% of respondents claiming that their sales were rising, in comparison to 59% who have reported a slump.
This decline comes following a period of growth for the sector, with retail sales growing at their fastest pace in 18 months in September.
“With over 20 million people in the UK now wanting to have close to no human interaction when shopping, retailers would do well to think of alternatives to drive sales while maintaining the safety and confidence of their clientele.”
Further data from retail app Ubamarket found that 43% of Brits, equating to over 20 million people, would now like their shopping experience to require as little human interaction as possible.
Will Broome, CEO and founder of Ubamarket, said: “These figures are a great indication of how deeply consumer confidence has been impacted due to the localised lockdowns brought about by the surge in Covid cases. With over 20 million people in the UK now wanting to have close to no human interaction when shopping, retailers would do well to think of alternatives to drive sales while maintaining the safety and confidence of their clientele.
“In order to prevent the economic downturns brought about by localised lockdowns, retailers need to adapt quickly and continue to help keep their customers and staff safe. Measures will need implementing quickly to help retailers protect themselves from lockdowns and a potential drop in sales.”