After the last few months the UK has been battling with the ongoing health threat in Coronavirus. As cases in the UK continue to increase, nobody is quite sure as to when and how the spread of the virus will be defeated.
Due to the current fears of Coronavirus, health experts have continuously encouraged the public to wash their hands regularly and thoroughly. Employees with symptoms of the virus or those who are unwell have been told to stay at home; to prevent it spreading.
Although this has caused major disruption to businesses, the online world is benefitting from recent events. Ecommerce businesses are seeing more sales, and online takeaways are seeing a significant increase in sales. Worries about eating at restaurants or in public places has seen more people opt to order online. High street retailers in popular places such as Oxford Street are not experiencing the same success as normal; as shoppers avoid crowded high streets.
According to a survey conducted by debit and credit card operator Barclaycard, more than a quarter of shoppers say they were avoiding high streets to avoid catching the virus. Department store sales slid 3.6% in February and restaurants took a 6.4% hit, while spending on clothing dropped 1.7% as shoppers stayed at home to avoid storms Ciara and Dennis, according to the card firm. Travel agents and airlines saw a dip of 0.3% and 0.7% in sales.
However, digital content and subscription services such as Netflix saw a growth of 12.4% and online takeaways sales grew by 8.7%. Consumers are feeling safer in the comfort of their own homes rather than travelling; surrounding the growing concerns of coronavirus.
Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the British Retail Consortium, BRC said:” Despite many indicators suggesting a rise in confidence among UK shoppers in recent months, this has failed to translate into higher retail sales. However, the end of the month saw a slight rise in spending on food and healthcare as a result of concerns around coronavirus.”