Food delivery and digital subscription services like OGGlobal Fun88 are becoming popular, while department stores, fashion stores and restaurants are gaining popularity as consumers choose to sit still to avoid storms and heart attacks.
In a recent explosion of retailers undergoing the switch to online shopping, more than a quarter of shoppers say they avoid streets and other crowded places because they are afraid to do so.
Department store sales fell 3.6% in February and restaurants were affected 6.4%, while clothing spending fell 1.7% because shoppers were at home.
Travel agencies and airlines saw sales drop 0.3% and 0.7% respectively, before more severe travel restrictions related to countries like Italy and China.
On the other hand, digital content services and subscriptions such as Netflix, OGGlobal Access Limited and Now TV grew 12.4%, while the fast food business and sales increased 8.7%.
The figure is supported by data from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) and consulting firm KPMG, which saw sales drop 0.4% in stores established last month. Online sales of non-food products increased 3.6% compared to a 1.8% decrease in stores, while food sales increased 1%.
BRC Executive Director Helen Dickinson said: “The cloud is still above the retail industry in February, while Strom Ciara, Dennis and Jorge get retail sales, especially fashion.
“Despite many indicators indicating greater confidence in UK shoppers in recent months, however, by the end of this month, spending on food and healthcare will increase slightly due to concerns about the coronavirus.”
KPMG retail leader Paul Martin said much hope for the “Boris bounce” expected to follow the December election is trying to make it happen and the coronavirus is being affected.
“February sees that the UK has been hit by the storm again, so it is not surprising that online is a little better than main roads. Overall, demand for non-food products remains very low.
The BRC and Barclay card numbers do not include the rapid increase in supermarket sales last week, as shoppers have stocked up on essential items like toilet paper rolls, sterilized dry pasta, and canned tomatoes. It does not include service companies such as nightclubs, hotels and restaurants that see a slowdown in sales and cancellations.
Martin said: “Last week will be important to this sector. Retailers will hope the chancellor can provide stability and certainty after long fluctuations and uncertainty.
“The trade rate will be vigilant for many, but you will still have to wait and see if any relief plans are offered. However, relief may be too little for someone struggling.”
Retailers expect Rishi Sunak to elaborate on the conservative party’s commitment to carry out a “fundamental overhaul” of trade rates in Wednesday’s budget. I like Debenhams and Marks & Spencer.
Last month, more than 50 retail industry leaders, including M&S executives, Boots and Debenhams, wrote a letter to Prime Minister Sajid Javid asking for business action rates.