UK retailers should prepare themselves for a spending boom

Industry

UK retailers should prepare for a spending boom later this year as the rapid vaccine-roll our drives growing positive sentiment among shoppers.

According to new research from CACI consumers are planning a spending splurge when lockdown eventually comes to an end in the UK, as the vaccine roll-out means the nation “can now see a way out of the pandemic”.

Nearly three quarters of consumers have seen their finances improve or stay the same during the pandemic, giving swathes of the country increased discretionary spending power.

Furthermore, 30 per cent of consumers plan to celebrate an event they’ve been forced to put off during lockdown, while 14 per cent plan to buy a new car and 15 per cent plan to treat themselves to an expensive holiday.

READ MORE: Retailers are banking on “virtual Valentine’s Day” to boost sales during lockdown

“The nation can now see a way out of the pandemic, and for a large part of the population the successive lockdowns have given them the chance to save money as there has been little opportunity to spend,” CACI director Alex McCulloch said.

Despite this, separate research from Maybe*, a partner of the government’s high street task force,  suggests that 85 per cent of customers fear their favourite high street firms won’t be around when lockdown ends.

According to the research, over half of respondents don’t feel the government is doing enough to help non-essential retailers forced to close during lockdown.

Chief executive of the British Independent Retailers Association (BIRA) Andrew Goodacre said: “This important research shows how much people care about their high street. Independent retailers have never been more vulnerable and now is not the time to remove the support that was made available last March.

“We must see the extension of the rates holiday for the whole 2021/22 and an extension of the rent moratorium. By doing this, the high street will every chance of recovering and servicing the needs of its communities – it is what the people want.”

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