Retail sales rose above pre-pandemic levels in July following a rebound in demand, according to official figures.
Retail sales volumes rose by 3.6 per cent between June and July, reports the Office for National Statistics.
Sales are now 3 per cent higher than they were in February, prior to the UK going into lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Purchases in clothes shopping grew by 11.9 per cent last month as lockdown restrictions eased - although this category still down in comparison to the beginning of the year - while online shopping fell by 7 per cent, in line with people venturing out of the house more and shops reopening.
Ruth Gregory, senior UK economist at Capital Economics, told the BBC: “The recovery in physical shops was more impressive than the headline figure and that shoppers are starting to return to the high street.”
Despite this, the Office for National Statistics cited that clothing shops in particular were “worst hit during the pandemic” and sales remained 25.7 per cent lower than in February.
There’s been a rippling effect on the retail industry, as many jobs have been cut due to the impact of the ongoing coronavirus.
Marks & Spencer announced 7,000 job cuts over the following three months, reports the BBC. John Lewis, Boots and WH Smith have all announced that jobs will be at risk.
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