New figures published today showed that December saw a 65 per cent decrease in retail footfall.
Jane Imrie

BRC calls for further business support after “worst year on record” for UK retail

The British Retail Consortium (BRC) has called on the government to provide further support to struggling businesses.

The BRC has said that the government “must act decisively” to help retail businesses most affected by the COVID-19 restrictions.

New figures published today showed that December saw a 65 per cent decrease in retail footfall, as well as a 4.5 per cent like-for-like drop in sales compared with 2019.

Helen Dickinson OBE, chief executive of BRC: “Covid has led to 2020 being the worst year on record for retail sales growth.

“Physical non-food stores – including all of ‘non-essential’ retail – saw sales drop by a quarter compared with 2019. Christmas offered little respite for these retailers, as many shops were forced to shut during the peak trading period.

“With shops still closed for the foreseeable future, costing stores billions in lost sales, many retailers are struggling to survive.

“To avoid the unnecessary loss of shops and jobs, [the] government should announce an extension to business rates relief for the worst-affected businesses as soon as possible. With many retailers making decisions over their future, the government must act decisively.”

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