How will UK retailers fare over the coronavirus-hit Christmas ?, Retail News, ET Retail | Instant News

Other indicators of the consumer economy such as retail sales have shown a rapid recovery since COVID-19 restrictions were relaxed, although evidence from business is mixed.

The 2020 Christmas holiday season presents UK retailers with a unique challenge as they navigate stringent COVID-19 containment measures and prepare for Britain’s departure from the European Union.

That great Britain is struggling to load a new, fast spreading variant corona virus, meanwhile agreed to a new UK trade relationship with the European Union after leaving the bloc.

As the new national lockdown has begun and the coronavirus vaccine is launched, here is how some UK retailers fared, with the latest news first:


M&S reported another big drop sales clothes and household appliances in the three months leading up to Christmas, as restrictions to curb the spread of demand for coronavirus hits and close shops.


The pet supplies retailer raised its pretax profit forecast for the second time in five months after a strong Christmas sale, lifting its shares higher.


That pub Operators said they expected pubs to close at least until March as part of a nationwide lockdown that was imposed earlier this week, with some restrictions remaining even after businesses were allowed to reopen.


The supermarket group raised its annual profit forecast because it reported strong trade in the Christmas quarter when COVID-19 restrictions saw people eat and drink at home.


The discount retailer reported a 22.5% jump in holiday quarter sales and declared special dividends, benefiting from low prices and stores that remained open during the lockdown.


The fashion retailer reported a 58% drop in store sales over the seven weeks that included the holiday season and warned it would hit up to 18 million pounds ($ 24.5 million) if new COVID-19 restrictions continued.


The company said it was exploring raising equity capital as a new national lock closed the pub operator’s site, adding no decisions had yet been made on timing, size or requirements.


That Baker and fast food retailers have slowed the decline in sales caused by the pandemic but do not expect profits to return to pre-pandemic levels through 2022 at the earliest.


The tile retailer said the UK’s new lockdown, which has closed the company’s stores for browsing, was expected to hit sales and margins.


Strong sales of champagne and whole salmon helped the supermarket group overtake bigger rivals over Christmas as Brits made up for pandemic-related restrictions on pubs and restaurants by treating themselves at home.


The British fashion retailer beat its forecast for Christmas sales despite COVID-19 restrictions that closed stores in November and the last shopping days of December, resulting in another increase to its underlying profit guide.


The UK branch of the German discount supermarket group said sales were up 10.6% year on year in the four weeks to December 24, with a surge in demand for premium products helping deliver a record Christmas performance.


Primark owners said that the tougher lockdown measures in the UK and Ireland would result in an estimated sales loss of 650 million pounds this financial year, up from a previous estimate of 430 million pounds.


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