UK retail sales beat forecasts in June after lockdown eased – business live | Business

UK retail sales beat forecasts in June after lockdown eased – business live | Business











Retailers French Connection, Naked Wines and Hotel Chocolat have reported surging digital sales as consumers turned to online channels during the nationwide lockdown.

Hotel Chocolat has said that digital sales rose over 200% in the quarter to the end of June and sales of subscriptions or recurring purchases, such as refills for in-home hot chocolate makers, grew 47%.

However, with its 125 stores across the UK closed for 12 weeks, including the key periods of Easter and Mother’s Day, overall revenues fell 14% year-on-year to £45m in the six months to the end of June.




A Hotel Chocolat shop in Victoria, London.

A Hotel Chocolat shop in Victoria, London. Photograph: Philip Toscano/PA

French Connection, which operates websites in the UK and USA, has reported digital sales up 24% over the last 15 weeks.

The company said that following the re-opening of stores on 15 June in-store sales have been low “although conversion of those customers actually in the stores has been better than in the prior year”.

With pubs and restaurants closed online alcohol sales have boomed with Naked Wines reporting a 77% increase in sales in the quarter to the end of June.

In a trading update the company described itself as a “long-term winner” from the shift of consumer demand from buying wine in physical stores to digital channels.

The company also said that John Walden, Naked Wines chairman, is to leave at the the company’s annual meeting on 6 August due to personal reasons.




























Introduction: UK retail sales beat forecasts in June





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