The reopening of non-essential stores in April saw High Street sales land a heavy blow to online shopping.
April’s ONS retail figures show store sales bouncing back from the ropes – but the momentum is still with e-commerce, says ParcelHero.
In the latest round of the fight between the High Street and online sales, in-store sales dealt e-commerce a body blow, says the home delivery expert. April’s retail results from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reveal sales values rose 43.4% year-on-year against April 2020, the first full month of the first lockdown, and 9.9%% month-on-month over March 2021. But online sales were left reeling, falling back by -5.6% compared with March.
ParcelHero says these figures show that it is physical store sales that are now leading retail’s recovery.
“At last, High Street retailers have some news to celebrate,” said ParcelHero’s head of consumer research, David Jinks.
“All this is hugely encouraging and shows consumers still want to visit physical stores if they can feel safe. There’s no doubt that the success of Britain’s vaccination campaign has done a lot to increase public confidence.”
But he warned: “…any retailer relying solely on increased High Street footfall must realise it’s impossible to ever land a knock-out blow to online shopping.
“Successful stores must embrace e-commerce as a key part of an integrated sales strategy. Online sales are still an enormous 31.9% higher than they were a year ago in April 2020, when Brits first began the great switch to online…
“Ultimately, the fight between online and in-store sales must end in a draw. An omnichannel sales strategy, embracing both shop and online sales, with both services complementing the other, is the only way forward as retail claws its way back from the clutches of the coronavirus.”
As key retailers, pet stores have, of course, remained open throughout the pandemic.