As per the British Retailer Consortium (BRC), British retailers reported a big boost in sales in May, after lockdown measures ended the month before and a relaxation of COVID restrictions on hospitality drew more shoppers into town centres.
Total sales among the consortium’s members, who include supermarkets and high-street chains, increased by 10 per cent last month than in May two years ago.
This was the biggest increase in sales compared with 2019 for any month since the start of the pandemic.
Compared with May 2020, when most non-food retailers were shut due to lockdown restrictions, total sales were 28.4 per cent higher.
Sales of clothes, shoes and furniture benefited from shoppers being able to view goods in person since non-essential retailers were allowed to reopen in April after months of closure, said BRC.
Relaxed restrictions on socializing also encouraged shoppers to buy new summer clothes.
Payment processor Barclaycard, which sees almost half of credit and debit card transactions, said consumer spending was 7.6 per cent higher than in May two years ago.
However, spending at restaurants declined by 54 per cent while that at pubsand bars declined by 19 per cent from two years. Foreign travel remains highly restricted. Spending with airlines was 74 per cent lower than in May 2019, little better than April.