ANALYSIS: Consumer confidence remains volatile as retail sales climb in the UK


Despite a climb in retail sales over the last few months, consumer confidence still remains low.

Reflecting on the latest ONS retail sales figures and GfK’s consumer confidence measure, Linda Ellett, UK head of consumer markets at KPMG, says that success will largely come down to how consumer businesses adapt.

She explained: “It’s pleasing to see the tireless efforts of retailers rewarded in September’s retail sales data. The volume of sales climbed 1.5% on performance in August, marking a promising start to their all-important ‘golden quarter’ – and those fortunes weren’t just exclusive to food sales either.

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“To be truly reaping these rewards though, consumer businesses have had to continually adapt to the new consumer that emerged from lockdown – whether that has entailed rethinking physical offering, or bolstering alternative channels like online. Indeed, the proportion of sales occurring online remains high at 27.5%, nodding to the likelihood that this consumer behaviour is here to stay.”

Adding: “Success – or even survival in many circumstances – will largely boil down to how consumer businesses can navigate the ebbs and flow of regional lockdowns – certainly no easy task. The latest consumer confidence indicators point to another fall – with consumers feeling increasingly pessimistic – and that’s likely to shape purchasing decisions right across the Christmas trading period, including Black Friday.

“Now more than ever, consumer businesses must leverage whatever means they can to remain firmly on the radar of customers. They must cut through not only the noise created by their competitors, but also that of this pandemic too.”

Tags : KPMGretailsales
Alex Douglas

The author Alex Douglas

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