BRC-KPMG Retail Sales in 2020 Worst on Record
Following the release of the BRC-KPMG figures today, eCommerce specialist Hugh Fletcher at Wunderman Thompson Commerce comments on the announcement.
Hugh Fletcher, global head of consultancy and innovation at Wunderman Thompson Commerce: “2020 was a year to forget for most businesses as the coronavirus pandemic disrupted any chance of a high street fightback, with a third national lockdown at the beginning of this year adding further woe to brick and mortar stores. It’s therefore unsurprising to see shoppers shift to eCommerce with many remaining fearful of contracting the virus; nearly half (48%) confessed to being scared about returning to the high street in July and a still sizeable 24% in September. Yet for many high street brands and small businesses, the pandemic has been a catalyst to giving digital retail laggards the push they needed to refocus their efforts online.
“People are now increasingly opting for home delivery food shops, online fashion purchases and even virtual experiences. However, unlike the first national lockdown last year which took many brands by surprise, retailers ought to be better equipped to deal with current and future lockdowns. The fact that nearly nine in ten (87%) consumers claim they expected retailers to be better prepared for new lockdowns demonstrates that consumers’ patience in the online shopping experience is waning. ASOS has already shown its hand by investing in a new £90 million distribution centre – further evidence that retailers need to offer consumers what they want online or face losing ground to competitors, financially and reputationally.
“Challenges remain in the retail sector, including sustaining growth, offsetting rising costs and reliably supporting eCommerce operations during the third national lockdown. While there is a hope that we’ll return to normality in the summer of 2021 following widespread vaccinations, those who continue to adapt in the face of fast-changing guidelines will ultimately win out.”