Although some have thrived in a new online space, it won’t surprise you that when we look at the cold hard facts, 2020 was a pretty disastrous year for many retailers across the country. How bad? Well, as a nation we spent £200 billion less than we did the year before – that’s the biggest contraction in spending since 1995 – when John Major was still Prime Minister.
But with a plan for easing lockdown over the next few months, the imminent re-opening of non-essential shops and a few intriguing announcements in the recent budget, could there finally be some light at the end of the retail tunnel?
Before the budget
We’ve already said that we spent less. But where is it if it’s not in tills? In reality, many have faced furlough, redundancy and other cutbacks to their income. In that respect, less money in, means less money to spend.
However, 2020 saw the average household save 15% of their disposable income. Doesn’t sound like much, but in reality, that’s a whopping £17.5 billion each month! That money is now ready to be spent, with retailers potentially ready to open their doors to many more customers.
Easing of lockdown
Although online retail has grown pretty consistently over the past decade, the high street and other physical stores still play a large role in the retail economy; online sales are often for very different products and sectors, whilst retail give a unique physical experience that many of us desire for goods such as clothing, or larger items including sofas.
There is of course plenty of space for both markets to thrive during 2021 and indeed as the UK inches towards ‘normal’ after Easter, the expectation is that stock on the high street and in stores up and down the country will start to move once again.
Increase in contactless payment
Making things quick and easy is at the heart of every good retail transaction; whether one click payment on the Amazon website, or at the till in a supermarket. The increase of the contactless limit to £100 per transaction not only means that customers will be able to pay from a safe distance without unnecessarily pawing at a keypad, they’ll also be able to do it quickly.
This could be a key help in getting money from bank accounts into your sales ledger.
The pandemic has affected retailers in many different ways – some will have prospered online, whilst others will have had stock sitting for long periods. No matter what position you’re in, as we move out of lockdown and in light of the recent budget, it’s vital you know where you stand now and as sales increase in order to ensure you can make the most of the long overdue opportunity. Make sure you’re set up for success with the most efficient and effective stock taking practices in place. Give us a call on 01637 874609 or visit https://www.abacusvaluers.co.uk/our-stocktaking-services to talk to your UK stocktaking experts.