Easing of lockdown next week expected to drive surge in retail sales

Industry

Retailers are set to enjoy a surge in spending next week as Monday’s partial lifting of lockdown measures marks start of a “season of shopping”.

On Monday March 29, people will once again be able to meet up to six people from two households outside and the UK-wide mandate to stay at home will end, marking the first step out of lockdown.

According to new research from Ebay Ads UK, this is set to drive a huge increase in spending as shoppers flock to update their wardrobes for the summer.

Over a fifth of shoppers said they planned on buying new clothes as a priority once lockdown lifts, with a further fifth stating they had more disposable income to spend than before lockdown.

According to Ebay, ‘going out’ outfits will be the key focus for many as they exercise the first opportunity in months to ditch joggers and prepare to meet friends.

After the first lockdown ended on June 27 2020, searches for skinny jeans jumped 47 per cent, while hoop earrings and fake eyelashes shot up 27 per cent and 24 per cent respectively.

Over a fifth of 16–24-year-olds and the over 55s said they were most excited to return to the pubs, bars and nightclubs when lockdown ends, a trend expected to further drive demand for new wardrobes.

READ MORE: Online retail sales continue staggering growth in February rising 70%

Holidays were also a priority across age ranges, with 21 per cent of 16-24-years-olds and 25 per cent of 25–34-year-olds planning on purchasing holiday clothes as a priority when lockdown ends.

“We know that Brits are itching to start living their lives to the fullest as lockdown restrictions lift, and these insights demonstrate that brands need to ensure they’re engaging excited consumers with relevant products and content in advance of key moments – whether they want to go out on the town or go on holiday,” Ebay UK’s general manager of advertising Harmony Murphy said.  

“But to make sure they’re putting their best foot forward, brands mustn’t forget to keep an open mind and tap into the freshest data to ensure they’re engaging with audiences that might be less predictable, but just as important.

“For instance, with the older generation on track to receive their first and second Covid-19 vaccinations within the coming weeks, brands would be wise to ensure they are not overlooking this important demographic longing to make the most of their newfound freedom.”

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