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With the number of empty stores at a record high of 14.5% in the UK, the retail landscape is changing forever.

A new whitepaper from one of Europe’s leading price comparison sites idealo.co.uk has analysed the current condition and shift change in retail, after it surveyed the nation to discover shopper’s post-pandemic spending habits.

Since the start of the pandemic in March 2020, 52% of British shoppers now buy more online than ever before. 42% continue at the same pace and shop as they normally would, and just 6% cut back on spending and buy less via e-commerce.

The dramatic shift in online spending has resulted in huge retail names such as Debenhams, Dorothy Perkins, John Lewis, Dawsons Music, Topshop and many more shutting multiple stores across the UK.

The whitepaper further reveals that even older generations are now converting to online shopping, with an 11% increase of over 65 users since 2020. Plus, 18% of Brits made an online purchase for the first-time during lockdowns and 48% said they bought products online that they had rarely or never bought in the past.

Fast delivery and simple ordering services have resulted in most of the UK using e-commerce retailers instead of going instore. In fact, 89% of people now use the internet to shop at least once per month. Accessibility on mobile phones has also boosted activity, with two-thirds (66%) of British shoppers opting to use a handheld device for shopping rather than a desktop computer.

Over the last three months, the most in demand categories include fashion (45%), cosmetics (25%) and toys (24%). People are looking to improve their home offices with new equipment (13%) and a further 18% are utilising their home for cooking, by buying small kitchen appliances online as well as baking accessories (12%). See the full list below:

Fashion & Accessories – 45%
Cosmetics – 25%
Toys & Games – 24%
Pet Supplies – 21.5%
Small Kitchen Appliances (food processor, slow cooker) – 18%
Video Games & Game Consoles – 18%
Home office equipment (printers, monitors, etc.) – 13%
Baking Accessories 12%
Large Household Appliances 11%
Home Gym Equipment 9%
Erotic Goods 5%

The most sought-after products range from Playstation 5s, which have been high in demand since its release in November 2020, to Airfryers which have seen a huge spike in sales since the nutrition craze went viral in January. Plus, England’s Home Shirt saw another sales boost during the Euros. The top 10 most searched for products since 2020 are listed below:

Most searched for products:

  1. Apple Airpods
  2. Sony Playstation 5 (Standard Edition)
  3. Sony Playstation 5 (Digital Edition)
  4. Ninja Duel Zone Airfryer
  5. Nike England Home Shirt
  6. Nintendo Switch
  7. Microsoft xBox Series X
  8. Canon PIXMA Inkjet Printer
  9. Hozelock Auto Reel Garden Hose
  10. Nike Men’s Full-Zip Hoodie Tech Fleece

See further information on idealo’s 2021-2022 whitepaper here: https://www.idealo.co.uk/magazine/consumer/e-commerce-whitepaper-2022

Katy Phillips, brand and communications manager at idealo commented: “The changes in the retail landscape have been cemented throughout lockdown. A combination of advances in technology and not being able to leave the home has prompted people across the world to use e-commerce as their go-to for goods. Now restrictions have eased off, it’s important we support independent retailers and shops where we can, finding a balance between both shopping online and instore.”

Source: https://hrnews.co.uk/retail-landscape-changing-forever-with-record-number-of-empty-stores/

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