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"In less than two months COVID-19 has significantly shifted consumer behaviour, and had a seismic effect on retailers in the UK. Grocery demand has soared and the non-food sector has been dramatically impacted due to both store closures and consumers holding back non-essential purchases. These are trends which will continue not simply throughout the lockdown but longer term as COVID-19 shifts attitudes and behaviours towards spending."
Nicholas Carroll, Associate Director, 14th May 2020

Key issues covered in the report

  • Analyst comment - The impact of COVID-19 on shopper behaviour
  • An overview of the latest UK retail sales – Impact of COVID-19
  • Highlights of the latest UK retail trend observations
  • Sector Focus – Grocery retailing
  • Monthly UK retail news headlines and analysis

What's included

What's included

Table of contents

Table of contents

  1. Analyst Comment: The Impact of COVID-19 on Shopping Behaviour

      • Preparation for lockdown drove significant sales for the grocers
          • Figure 1: COVID-19 tracker: number ‘stocking up’ on groceries by age, Feb - Apr 2020
        • Even prior to lockdown consumers were avoiding stores
            • Figure 2: COVID-19 tracker: number ‘stocking up’ on groceries by age, Feb-Apr 2020
          • Significant demand has shifted to online, but this is causing a strain
              • Figure 3: COVID-19 tracker: number ‘stocking up’ on groceries by age, Feb – Apr 2020
            • Increased at home leisure brings opportunity in the short term
              • Figure 4: COVID-19 tracker: changes in leisure activities, 2nd April – 9th April 2020
            • Certain COVID-19 behaviours will have a legacy far beyond the current outbreak
              • Figure 5: COVID-19 tracker: changes in behaviour since the outbreak, Feb – Apr 2020
            • COVID-19: Market context
            • UK Retail Sales – Impact of COVID-19

              • Key points
                • Retail sales
                    • Figure 6: Retail sales trends, January 2019 – January 2020
                  • BRC vs ONS
                    • Figure 7: UK retail sales y/y growth, BRC vs ONS, January 2018 – March 2020
                  • The short, medium and long-term impact on retail
                      • Figure 8: Expected impact of COVID-19 on retail, short, medium and long-term, 29 April 2020
                    • Inflation easing
                      • Figure 9: Annual percentage change in the consumer price index for selected product groups, January 2019 - February 2020
                    • Inflation and wages
                      • Figure 10: Real wages growth: Wages growth vs inflation, Jan 2016 – Mar 2020
                    • Nosedive in future consumer confidence
                      • Figure 11: Mintel Financial confidence tracker, January 2019 – March 2020
                    • Looking forward
                    • Sector Focus – Grocery Retailing

                        • Figure 12: All retail sales (ex-fuel), non-seasonally adjusted, January 2019-March 2020
                        • Figure 13: Annual % change in all grocery retail sales and store-based online grocery retail sales, Jan 2019 - Mar 2020
                      • Consumers increase grocery online shopping
                        • Figure 14: Changes in shopping habits due to COVID-19, February 28-April 9 2020
                      • Retailers roll out in-store safety measures to protect staff and customers
                        • Figure 15: Changes in shopping behaviours due to COVID-19, March 26-April 9 2020
                    • Launch Activity and Innovations

                      • UK: Costcutter launches 20 pop-up stores in NHS hospitals
                        • UK: M&S gives free food deliveries to NHS staff and donates clothing and uniforms
                          • UK: IKEA opens a coronavirus testing centre in Wembley for NHS
                            • UK: Lucy Tiffney teams up with Debenhams in new homeware collection
                            • Headlines for the Month

                              • Grocers
                                • Clothing retailing
                                  • Footwear retailing
                                    • Multi-sector retailing
                                      • Electrical retailing
                                        • Furniture retailing
                                          • Online shopping
                                            • Health and beauty retailing
                                            • News Analysis – Food and Drink

                                              • Co-ops
                                                • UK: Co-op to fund 6,500 student lunches if schools close
                                                  • Convenience stores
                                                    • UK: McColl’s partners up with Deliveroo to support vulnerable customers
                                                      • Grocers
                                                        • UK: Asda
                                                          • …to support isolated staff with full pay
                                                            • …private equity firms show interest in potential takeover of Asda
                                                              • UK: Iceland to open an hour early for the elderly amid coronavirus outbreak
                                                                • UK: Lidl plans to open first in store pub near Belfast
                                                                  • UK: Morrisons
                                                                    • …to expand home delivery service
                                                                      • …latest price cuts and plans for more
                                                                        • UK: Sainsbury’s eases up on quantity restrictions for Easter eggs immediately
                                                                          • UK: Supermarkets say “thank you” to hardworking staff coming into work
                                                                            • UK: Tesco
                                                                              • …raises profit outlook for the year as it incurs ‘significant’ coronavirus costs
                                                                                • …restricts store opening hours
                                                                                  • …joins business alliance to feed NHS staff and launches pop-up at NHS Nightingale sites
                                                                                    • …expands click & collect to cope with the surge in demand from coronavirus
                                                                                      • UK: Waitrose reserves delivery slots for elderly and vulnerable
                                                                                        • Other food specialists
                                                                                          • UK: Holland & Barrett staff petition for store closures
                                                                                          • News Analysis – Clothing and Footwear

                                                                                            • UK: Arcadia
                                                                                              • …furloughs 14,500 staff and execs face 50% pay cuts
                                                                                                • …cuts down on costs by deferring pension payments and cancelling supplier orders
                                                                                                  • UK: British Fashion Council launches £1m coronavirus fund
                                                                                                    • UK: Crew Clothing to buy Moss Bros
                                                                                                      • UK: Bleak outlook for French Connection amid continued difficult trading conditions in the UK
                                                                                                        • UK: H&M threatens to walk away from store leases if conditions do not return to pre-outbreak levels
                                                                                                          • UK: Jack Wills to permanently close another 17 stores
                                                                                                            • UK: Matchesfashion closes stores
                                                                                                              • UK: Mulberry anticipates losses in second half of 2020
                                                                                                                • UK: New Look
                                                                                                                  • …halts all current and future production
                                                                                                                    • …pushes back supplier payments 'indefinitely’
                                                                                                                      • UK: Next
                                                                                                                        • …posts rising profits but warns of £1bn coronavirus hit in worst-case scenario
                                                                                                                          • …halts online operations
                                                                                                                            • …warehouse and HQ up for sale in a bid to secure its future during the coronavirus outbreak
                                                                                                                              • UK: Primark
                                                                                                                                • …halts all future orders and closes all stores
                                                                                                                                  • …withholds quarterly rent in a bid to force landlords to negotiate rent terms
                                                                                                                                    • …cuts salaries in a bid to prevent temporary layoffs or redundancies
                                                                                                                                      • …warns of sales hit
                                                                                                                                        • UK: Ted Baker sells London HQ in £79m deal
                                                                                                                                          • UK: Urban Outfitters appeals for 'force majeure' terms
                                                                                                                                            • Footwear retailing
                                                                                                                                              • UK: Allbirds provides NHS workers with 2,000 pairs of shoes for free
                                                                                                                                                • UK: Clarks to permanently close some UK stores
                                                                                                                                                  • UK: Schuh resumes online trading with ‘exhaustive welfare measures’ in place
                                                                                                                                                  • News Analysis – Mixed Goods

                                                                                                                                                    • UK: Sainsbury’s accused of exploiting loophole to keep Argos open
                                                                                                                                                      • Multi-sector retailing
                                                                                                                                                        • UK: Halfords proposes closure of Cycle Republic
                                                                                                                                                          • UK: M&S
                                                                                                                                                            • …launches household essential boxes for customers
                                                                                                                                                              • …adds branded items to staple ranges in a bid to maintain availability
                                                                                                                                                                • …launches contact-free delivery and ups food production
                                                                                                                                                                  • …lowers guidance and warns profits to fall at lower end of expectation
                                                                                                                                                                    • Department stores
                                                                                                                                                                      • UK: Debenhams
                                                                                                                                                                        • …revises restructuring plan as a result of COVID-19
                                                                                                                                                                          • …CVA free from legal challenge as appeal period ends
                                                                                                                                                                            • UK: John Lewis
                                                                                                                                                                              • …unveils first ever TV ad campaign outside Christmas period
                                                                                                                                                                                • …builds well-being centre for Nightingale NHS staff
                                                                                                                                                                                • News Analysis – Household Goods

                                                                                                                                                                                  • Electrical retailing
                                                                                                                                                                                    • UK: Brighthouse falls into administration risking 2,400 jobs
                                                                                                                                                                                      • UK: Dixons Carphone
                                                                                                                                                                                        • …sales of laptops and TVs soar amid coronavirus lockdown
                                                                                                                                                                                          • …to close all standalone Carphone Warehouse stores
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Furniture retailing
                                                                                                                                                                                              • UK: Despite low consumer confidence ScS sustains profitable growth
                                                                                                                                                                                                • UK: DFS
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • …announce new measures to deal with COVID-19
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • …uncertainty around coronavirus impacts DFS full-year guidance
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • UK: Harveys and Bensons for Beds up for sale risking 2,700 jobs
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Homewares retailing
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • UK: Cath Kidston
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • …calls in administrators risking 950 jobs
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • …urgently seeks buyer amid coronavirus epidemic
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • News Analysis – Online

                                                                                                                                                                                                                • UK: Leon repurposes restaurants into stores
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • UK: N Brown announced contingency plan amid coronavirus outbreak
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • UK: Naked Wines expects an excess of £200m in full-year revenue
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • UK: Net-A-Porter resumes taking orders on UK website
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • UK: Ocado
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • …sales rise in first quarter as it tries to stay ahead of demand
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • …first international depot goes live in France
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • UK: rolls out new inclusive sizing feature for Nike and Adidas products
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • News Analysis – Other Retail

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Health and beauty retailing
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • UK: Boots
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • …half-year sales slip as COVID-19 proactively deferred activities
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • …and Amazon lends a helping hand to NHS
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • UK: 1,875 jobs affected as The Perfume Shop shuts online operations
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • UK: Superdrug
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • …fast-tracks it same-day delivery service for urgent orders
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • …offers employees £40m support package
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Book and stationery retailing
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • UK: WH Smith’s travel division takes a hit due to coronavirus
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Sports and leisure goods retailing
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • UK: Fraser Group issues profit warning as sales fall
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Pets and pet products retailing
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • UK: Pets at Home
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • …pledges support to CaRe20 campaign
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • …‘not immune’ to COVID-19 challenges
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Shopping centres
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • UK: Intu
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • …on the brink of collapse after a reported £2 billion loss
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • …to lower service charges for retail tenants by 22%
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • …receives less than 29% of rent payments from retailers
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • News Analysis – Economy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • UK: February retail sales up in value by 2.3%
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • UK: Boris Johnson advises against unnecessary social contact in new COVID-19 policy
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • UK: Government orders all non-essential shops to close
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • UK: Retail industry launches £10m coronavirus appeal for shop floor staff

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                About the report

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                This report will give you a complete 360-degree view of your market. Not only is it rooted in robust proprietary and high-quality third-party data, but our industry experts put that data into context and you’ll quickly understand:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • The Consumer

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  What They Want. Why They Want It.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • The Competitors

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Who’s Winning. How To Stay Ahead.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • The Market

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Size, Segments, Shares And Forecasts: How It All Adds Up.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • The Innovations

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  New Ideas. New Products. New Potential.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • The Opportunities

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Where The White Space Is. How To Make It Yours.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • The Trends

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  What’s Shaping Demand – Today And Tomorrow.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Please Note: This is a sample report. All of the figures, graphs, and tables have been redacted.

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