Clothing sales slump 19% with stores forced to close in lockdowns

Clothing sales slump by almost a fifth with stores forced to close during Covid lockdowns

Clothing sales plunged by almost a fifth last month as stores across the country were forced to close during Covid lockdowns.

In a sign of the damage tough restrictions are having on the economy, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said sales in clothing stores fell 19 per cent in November while demand for fuel was down 16.6 per cent.

Overall retail sales were 3.8 per cent lower than in October, despite the closure of pubs and restaurants boosting business at supermarkets and Black Friday deals tempting shoppers online in droves.

In a sign of the damage tough restrictions are having on the economy, the ONS said sales in clothing stores fell 19 per cent in November while demand for fuel was down 16.6 per cent

The figures – which cover the period leading up the collapse of Topshop owner Arcadia and department store chain Debenhams – underline the crisis facing the High Street.

Online sales accounted for 31.4 per cent of total retailing last month – meaning that for every £1,000 spent, £314 was on the internet – and were 74.7 per cent higher than in November 2019. 

Economists at Jefferies said the figures put the UK on course for a 5 per cent fall in gross domestic product in November.

Retailers are now hoping that a last minute rush of Christmas shopping will boost business before the end of the year.

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Samuel Tombs, UK economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, said a rebound was likely ‘as people undertake their pre-Christmas shopping over a narrower time period than usual’.

The Restaurant Group, which owns chains including Wagamama, Frankie & Benny’s, Chiquito and Garfunkel’s, said the second national lockdown in England last month cost it £15million.

Franco Manca and The Real Greek owner Fulham Shore saw revenues fall nearly 45 per cent to £19.9million in the six months to September 27 as restrictions hit business.

source: dailymail.co.uk