UK retail faces December logistics squeeze after second lockdown

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With a second national lockdown set to begin in England tomorrow, non-essential retail could see a £6.8 billion decline in sales over the next four weeks and logistics operations have been warned of a strain on warehouse and delivery capacity in December.

According to research by Retail Economics, the second lockdown will cause the UK to miss out on £6.8 billion in retail sales over the four week period. However, it said that the enforced closure of bricks and mortar stores would lead to a £2.9 billion increase in online sales in the ramp up to Christmas.

Retail Economics’ Senior Consultant Nicholas Found, said: “Lockdown measures have ensured it will be a digital Christmas and Black Friday will become even more important this year are shoppers bring forward festive purchases during this extended event.”

According to the research the best case scenario in terms of losses could be £6.49 billion, and a worst case scenario could be £7 billion.

Found added: “While some consumers will choose to hold off spending this month, pent up demand in December could leave shoppers grappling queues both on- and offline given social distancing in warehouses, delivery capacity and restrictions on shopper numbers in-store.”

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