Britain’s economy looks set for a widely feared record contraction after figures showed retail spending plunged by more than a quarter and one in four firms stopped trading temporarily due to the coronavirus lockdown.
The UK began a lockdown on Monday evening as the government said people must now stay at home and gave only a few legitimate reasons for going out. It also called out fashion stores in particular as having to close.
Barclaycard and Ipsos Retail Performance released their regular monthly spending and footfall studies this week and both contained bad news for the fashion sector, with lots of uncertainty ahead as well.
British shoppers cut back on spending in late 2019, rounding off the worst year since the mid-1990s for retail sales, said the BRC, which blamed uncertainty about Brexit and last month's election for the slump.
British shoppers picked up the pace of their spending last month - excluding distortions caused by the timing of Black Friday - as they took a break from worrying about Brexit, a survey showed on Tuesday.
The volume of Black Friday payment transactions in Britain as of 10 a.m. was up 12.5% versus last year, initial data showed on Friday, bringing some cheer to UK retailers in need of a tonic after a troubled year.