ONS retail figures reveal it’s going to be a ‘digital Christmas’

Today’s Office of National Statistics (ONS) retail sales figures for September showed the much-heralded resurgence in retail sales continued as overall spending rose 3.4% YOY.

Online sales had the biggest growth again YOY, up 53%. Leading the online charge were department stores’ online sales. September was the month pre-orders opened for the Play Station 5 and X Box series X, leading to an 88% boost in department stores’ online sales YOY.

ParcelHero’s Head of Consumer Research, David Jinks, MILT, says that the early ripples of the second COVID-19 wave during September failed to slow retail’s fightback, although local lockdowns in October might well see a marked decrease in High Street footfall.

He said: “These figures are a boost to High Street stores as shoppers prepare to decide how they will shop this Christmas. Even so, despite a slight fall of -1.2 against last month, online’ s 53% growth points the way. Scotland’s National clinical director, Jason Leitch, got a lot of flak yesterday for stating Scots should prepare for a digital Christmas but these figures reveal that online sales will soar throughout the entire UK.

“Sales between July-September were up 17.7% which is heartening. Department stores’ 6% online jump in one month was notable. An amazing 30.8% of all department store sales in September were online. Not every month will see pre-ordering open for two major new games consoles, but it does point the way to a digital Christmas this year.”