You are here: Home - Household Bills - News -

Retail sales surge as high street shops re-open

Written by: Emma Lunn
Retail sales volumes grew sharply in April, with a monthly increase of 9.2%, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Non-essential retailers were allowed to re-open from 12 April in England and Wales and from 26 April in Scotland.

Non-food stores reported the largest monthly growth in April 2021 of 25.4%, with clothing stores in particular reporting strong growth of 69.4% as the sector benefitted from the re-opening of physical stores.

Automotive fuel retailers also reported strong growth of 10.6% as further relaxation of restrictions saw an increase in travel. Food stores were the only sector to report a monthly decline of 0.9%.

Online sales were down by 5.6% month-on-month in April though the ONS said that online-only retailers had been the biggest winners during the pandemic so far with sales up 56% when compared to April 2019.

Ulas Akincilar, head of trading at, Infinox, said: “Britain’s high street has come out swinging, and then some. Analysts had been expecting a big April; what they got was a blockbuster.

“Preliminary figures for the month had come in strong, but the official data reveals just how and where months of pent-up demand was unleashed. The first thing to say is that the obituaries written about the high street now look a little premature.

“Britons seized the opportunity to shop in physical stores once again, and the proportion of sales made online fell across the board in April.”

David Jinks, ParcelHero’s head of consumer research, said: “At last, high street retailers have some news to celebrate. In-store shopping certainly won on points in April, following the reopening of non-essential stores on ‘the glorious twelfth’. Household goods sales grew 10.2% in April compared to March, with clothing sales bouncing back from the ropes with a 69.4% growth against the previous month thanks to the re-opening of High Street fashion stores.

“All this is hugely encouraging and shows consumers still want to visit physical stores if they can feel safe. There’s no doubt that the success of Britain’s vaccination campaign has done a lot to increase public confidence.”

Retail sales volumes in April 2021 were 42.4% higher than in April 2020, which was affected by the first national lockdown when the tightest restrictions were in place. Companies are looking for HR support for retail stores in the UK.

There are 0 Comment(s)

If you wish to comment without signing in, click your cursor in the top box and tick the 'Sign in as a guest' box at the bottom.

Could you save money with a social broadband tariff?

Two-thirds of low-income households are unaware they could be saving on broadband, according to Uswitch.

How to help others and donate to food banks this winter

This winter is expected to be the most challenging yet for the food bank network as soaring costs push more pe...

Your rights for refunds if travel is affected by strikes

There have been a wave of strikes this year across many different industries, and more are planned over Christ...

What will happen if rates change

How your finances will be impacted by a rise in interest rates.

Regular Savings Calculator

Small regular contributions can build up nicely over time.

Online Savings Calculator

Work out how your online savings can build over time.

DIY investors: 10 common mistakes to avoid

For those without the help and experience of an adviser, here are 10 common DIY investor mistakes to avoid.

Mortgage down-valuations: Tips to avoid pulling out of a house sale

Down-valuations are on the rise. So, what does it mean for home buyers, and what can you do?

Five tips for surviving a bear market mauling

The S&P 500 has slipped into bear market territory and for UK investors, the FTSE 250 is also on the edge. Her...

Money Tips of the Week