BUSINESS UK retail sales surge in April as stores reopen


UK retail sales surge in April as stores reopen


14:56, May 21, 2021

British retail sales surged last month after non-essential stores reopened from virus lockdown, official data showed Friday.

File photo: AFP

Sales by volume soared 9.2 percent in April from March as Britain's economy cranked back into action, the Office for National Statistics said in a statement.

And sales rocketed 42.4 percent compared with April 2020, which was the first full month of the UK's initial strict lockdown at the start of the crisis.

"Retail sales volumes grew sharply in April 2021 ... reflecting the effect of the easing of coronavirus restrictions," the ONS said.

Online sales boomed during lockdown as consumers were forced to shop via their smartphones and computer screens, soaring by 56 percent compared to April 2019 before the pandemic struck.

Britain is exiting lockdowns at a gradual pace, allowing the economy to further recover from pandemic fallout.

Non-essential retailers reopened for business from April 12 in England and Wales and from April 26 in Scotland.

"Retailers were in dire need of a spring sales boost after a long dark winter of lockdowns and the grand reopening delivered just that," said Hargreaves Lansdown analyst Susannah Streeter.

"Shoppers indulged in a major dose of retail therapy, after being banned from browsing the racks for months."

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