Danni Hewson, financial analyst at AJ Bell, comments on ONS retail figures for February 2021 reported today:
“The tantalising prospect of being able to share a garden with friends and family has helped bump retail sales up slightly after the January slump.
“Household goods sales were up 16% mainly thanks to purchases of outdoor products as gardens get a makeover ahead of lockdown restrictions easing. Unsurprisingly online sales from those retailers received the biggest boost, a record monthly bump for the sector of almost 36%.
“And that’s repeated across the board with the amount people are spending online at a record high of 36.1%. Compare that share with the 20% enjoyed the previous February and it reinforces what all retailers know in their bones, lockdown has sped up already changing habits.
“The decision by John Lewis to close a further eight stores indicates they don’t expect that trend to reverse. But all retailers will take comfort in these figures. Consumers clearly want to spend, they just need the right conditions; a fine sunny spring would undoubtedly help that along.”