Is Shopper Spend shifting as we ease out of Lockdown?

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Published on 11/08/20 by Bradlie Houldsworth

As we ease out of lockdown, the retail landscape is going to change once again and for many businesses, might not be fast enough to save them. But is consumer shopping shifting to online faster than we anticipated?

On 16th June 2020, IMRG invited Remarkable.net to speak on their Weekly Retail Data Show – to discuss how the ‘return to normal’ has effected online retail sales and demand and how you can cope with these changes in demand and customer behaviour.

Find the webinar transcription below, between IMRG Strategy & Insight Director Andy Mulcahy, James from SafeCharge and our Strategy Manager, Brad.

You can sign up to IMRG here, to receive their weekly webinar and key retail data: https://imrg.org/imrgs-weekly-retail-data-show-is-shopper-spend-shifting-as-we-ease-out-of-lockdown/



Transcript:

Andy:

Good afternoon everybody thank you for joining us for our weekly retail dates extravaganza! I’ve said it, it’s too late I’ve said extravaganza! What we do every week is we dig into the retail data that we’ve been tracking from online retail. We are IMRG, we are the online Association for retailing be in the UK and I always get a bit worried when I say that we’re an association always feel it was a little bit boring, we’re not boring I think we’re probably the most fun Association in the UK – even more fun than the fun Association, if there’s a national fun Association we’ll go toe-to-toe with that association any day of the week. 

What we’re going to be looking at today is the easing of lockdown restrictions that happened as of the fourth of July, which was when the pubs and the restaurants and all that sort of stuff started to ease up. Now you might be thinking well why – you know I can understand that when the High Street opened maybe they would have had an impact but the reason that lockdown easing there is quite interesting is because while we’ve been in lockdown, you haven’t had many opportunities to spend so you haven’t been able to go out and do things – can’t go on holiday and all that sort of thing, so online then would have benefited quite strongly from that even while the economic situation is so terrible. But now that those things have actually opened up what we need to look at is whether the spend has been diverted to that stuff, so if people stop doing quite as much spending on some of those areas now. it’s quite a short lineup today actually some have got quite a lot of stuff to show you, the stuff we are going to look out straight away is the impact of lockdown restrictions so what happened with online retail sales? Were they up, were they down and how did that compare with recent times. I’ve got two guests with me today, from SafeCharge and Remarkable, we’re going to look at what we can do as the competition around online spend grows to sort of maintain some of that stuff, and then at the end I’m going to show you the data in a slightly different way and I’ll explain that when we get through it.

Now I have to warn you in advance today we have some very complicated information to show you, so the story is quite complicated and therefore I’m gonna have to look at the data in lots of different ways – so hopefully you can keep up but you know firing questions if I’m confusing you, as I say it is quite technical today. 

So moving on to our first bit then, so me there’s a picture of me, when I had slightly shorter hair as you can see there’s something amazing going on on top of my head at the moment…so I’m Strategy and Insight Director for IMRG and what we do is we we track online sales for retailers, we track the online sales for multi-channel retailers and online-only retailers and we have a whole data program around there so I’m going to show you a lot of stuff today. You might find very interesting and if you think to yourself “you know it seems great I’d like to know a bit more about that” and we have loads more and you know you can join us to get access to a load of that, so don’t ask me go to our website there’s people you can you can talk to. 

But first of all we’re going to get into our regular feature now, which is a good place to start if you give me a little shake and hit me to the side, like that, something falls out of my head – because there’s lots and lots of stuff in there. I’ve pulled out is that online sales growth for May 2008 when online sales grew 30%, because that was the last time that we saw plus 30% more over for online sales now. If you go way back to 2008 think what the internet was back then broadband only came out around 2004 or so, so websites really were pretty naff and I don’t think we really optimized sites back then I think we just had sites and that was kind of it. Whereas we’ve been now through this whole thing, and of course the industry has got a lot more mature and the gross face would come right down. And if you look at the chart then that falls out of this –

These are the growth rates we’ve been sort of more used to in recent years so that’s the growth rates for online sales for those years 2009 through 2019 and if you look at the last 4-5 years with the exception of 2016 really you’re looking at around 10 to 12 percent and then in 2019 wasn’t it so very good year growth was actually 6.7% so to be up 30% month after month for the moment is pretty weird. I’m going to show you that because of that demand has been artificially inflated with the thing we’re going to be in this situation how it’s going to kind of settle down that’s the question we’re addressing today.

So moving into the first thing I’m going to show you, first of all I just want to reappraise you with what happened when the shots were open so this was the 15th of June, if you recall. So what this chart is showing you is the year-on-year growth rates for a seven week period and I’ve shown you the first four there, which is weeks 21 to 24. As you can see the profiles are very very strong so this sort between 30 and 45 percent really so these are very very strong and not what we we would normally see is the pandemic that’s it was the pandemic would die but then what happened when the shops opened you might have thought maybe that’s gonna have a big impact and okay we’re going to go back to the shops and therefore online demand will drop but this is what actually happened…

It was actually the strongest growth for online that we’ve recorded since the pandemic came into force. So it went really really strong there and I’m if subsequent to months or weeks after that sorry it was roughly around the same kind of area that we’d seen it, so far really we haven’t picked up anything really notable about demand shifting back to store and online demand coming down there is it there are caveats that it does get more complicated than that, but so far its strong now.

I’m gonna show you some slightly different stuff – what’s driving this is multi-channel retailers. So that blue line across the top there this is online sales growth for multi-channel retailers a blue line and the online-only retailers which is the orange line massive difference between them as you can see the online only ones doing pretty well up about 10-15 percent week after week, but multi-channel ones are sort of 50 to 70 percent up, so massive growth – why is that – well all the shops are closed of course so you don’t know where to turn even now that they’re they’re open again the growth is actually still really strong so in that week where the shops open on the 15th of June, as you can see there that box that we’ve we’ve highlighted that was really really strong growth for the multi-channel retailers again the strongest that we’ve seen since the lockdown came into force and then it kind of fell away a bit of subsequent week but then it’s back up. So if you look at the trend line, which is that red dotted one that goes across it, actually it’s more or less the same as it has been so it hasn’t really come down yet after the shops.

I think it’s worth looking at the next chart as well which has shown this over a slightly longer period. This is year-over-year growth for each month of the year 2019 and 2020 year today.  So the blue line is showing you 2019 and what happened in 2019 is it was a very weak year for growth. We thought it would be better than this but actually, like the year unfolded as you can see between April and June all the way through to September it was kind of 5% or below, it flattened out in April entirely this isn’t really the sort of thing we’ve been used to in the index. You do get a bit of up and down as you might expect but it was a very weak year and then it was a very weird Christmas where we thought it was going to be demanding to be really weak all year and then Christmas, of course, was absolutely explosive certainly Black Friday was far stronger than we thought it would be. Then that brought the year up to be stronger than it was and then we move into 2020 and as you can see the first three months of the year completely flat and then March there were a few tidal effects as we went into lockdown people were a bit panicked maybe didn’t spend anything and worried about their jobs and things and then you get this massive explosion in growth whether the line shot up to 30 maybe 35 percent. The point to make is that demand has been very very weak and that’s got changed by the pandemic, this is artificially inflated. 

What we’re going to try and do now is work out if this going to settle down and what’s the plan – that is going to go into so, what’s happened now that the further restrictions are these what’s the last week of data. You’ll see in this graph here that is the seven weeks leading into this week so as you can see it just reliably sorts of 30% plus week after week after week and sometimes getting as high as 45%, so what happened at week 28 which was the 5th of July the day after all the lockdown restrictions eased so we went down a little bit but it’s still very much within that range so there’s a 31% okay so lock down restrictions ease it doesn’t look like people stopped buying online necessarily this growth was still very strong and where it’s where it’s kind of bit within that exact same same range.

I’m going to come back with some more graphs a little bit later to show you the difference in millions spent like that very complicated stuff that I showed you but in a slightly more complicated it just to really give you the this or the story what’s going on there but now we’re have a little bit of a chat so hopefully a few if you are my frustrated with listenings more voice because I’m quite annoying we’ve got some people to bring in so Bradlie and James. Bradlie since you’ve appeared first you’ve won the ticket to introduce yourself first afternoon everyone…

Brad:

Thanks, Andy very excited to be on! So I’m Brad, I’m the strategy manager at Remarkable – I look after our development strategy and consult with our clients on their e-commerce tech and retail strategies. For those not familiar Remarkable are a software-as-a-service eCommerce tech vendor, our core proposition is an e-commerce platform and technology suite to support eCommerce businesses. We’ve been around for about 20 years based in the East Midlands and we work primarily with UK retailers across different verticals, mostly fashion but also in jewellery, sportswear, and a few B2B retailers as well – so we have quite a broad reach of markets and size of retails that we work with. The past four months have been quite eventful say the least!

Andy:

Great, thanks. And James…

James:

Yes, I’m James I work the retail team at Safe charge. For those of you who don’t know who we are we’re a global payment service provider we build best-in-class payment experiences for customers all over the world and focus very much on retail we connect tribute of over 350 different payment methods globally open to localize that’s experience and last year we processed over thirty-four billion in transactional volume so obviously very interested in the subject matter – we too have seen a lot of change and have been working closely with Andy and the team at IMRG to track it all through

Andy:

So listen so I was kind of showing there was the online has burnt or I’m you know that there’s no secret set but the thing that we wanted to kind of gain is if we’re now entering this phase where online has more competition so there’s there’s more things you can you can spend your money on there’s also a hell of a lot more competition I wish I had this statistic in my head but there was some story that came out I think last maybe was earlier this week actually, the amount of new businesses that are us are selling through an online channel and it was something like I don’t want to purge myself too much while things like 10,000 extra companies are so nice there’s a lot more competition out there so the thing for retailers n is what are they now going to do with this increased competition see people they’ve got and ensure that they can make the best that was very surprising situation gradually – Brad do you want to go first?

Brad:

I think first priority in my view is always to acquiring new customers, that is always priority number one, priority number two is attempting to keep that customer return rate up, keeping that purchase rate-up and focusing I believe on brand and loyalty, that’s the key around that. So I’ve seen a lot of activity in past few weeks especially with stores starting to either struggle or reopen store staff seems to start to want to integrate themselves into online. I’ve seen a lot of kind of “virtual consultancy: and online booking type of scenarios coming to very many retailers and I think that’s probably the wrong approach in my view for many actually 

Andy:

What does that actually mean online actually?

Brad:

A virtual consultation is where the retailer is trying to mimic and replicate the experience of going into a store and speaking to store staff, it is trying to replicate that online and I feel that is a correct way of doing it and there’s a lot of people doing it very wrong and I feel that the intention around it from a retailer’s point of view is to try and bring in expertise and bring in the knowledge from store stuff online I think that’s the ambition I don’t think it’s being executed very well my opinion on it should be much more brand-focused so use that expertise to do webinars, or live streaming on social or focus on content creation properly not just a weekly blog or something. Try and use that experience in a different way, I feel that should be the way to try and keep up purchase rate and keep customers coming back to you. 

Andy:

OK, brand loyalty essentially, James how about you?

James:

I agree with a lot with what Brad said I think building strong multi-channel relationships with you consumers is key and maybe this is where the opportunities have arisen for these 10,000 businesses that have started up so really understanding who your customers are seeing what role stores and physical presence play or how you can deploy staff in different ways I think we’ve seen a lot of people in electronics be very successful with this at a brand ambassador approach, so the stores in that might in those there is a very very important way you want to go and actually check out a good deep knowledge you know of those products that you actually have as well what value is there adding to the consumer journey and really understanding that so gathering as much data analytics as you possibly can to Brad’s point and then and then making smart decisions based on that I think that’s the key. I know is not easy because there’s so many variables but retailers measure everything from the weather on a particular day to see how that’s going to impact things right the way through to see the change in demographics so are you selling to that twenty-year old that you think you are or is it their parents that are buying it on behalf of them and how do you build your user experiences around all those people

Brad:

It’s really interesting data around our retailers believing who their customer was and then when it comes down to it, that loyalty piece comes through and their customer is not who they think they are and the demographics are very vastly different and that affects the whole eCommerce business, so you’re looking at B&M teams, you’re looking at marketing, you’re looking at the full company and that demographic is often misunderstood I feel like retailers should, if they don’t already, have a better understanding of who their customer is.

Andy:

So should then be using this kind of period as we’ve all gotta learn differently what’s going on there and I suppose there’s a sort of research process thing that you have to go for it to work out where you are now and it might not be where you thought you were. I think an interesting thing about this pandemic is this idea of the new normal you know so much the worse so works then it’s changed things and what to what extent it hasn’t right so I think quite a few people sort of having this idea that you just sort of going back to what you’re doing for yeah okay you gotta wear a face mask but you know you just crack on has anything actually sort of changed or do you now need to think that things really have properly changed I need to build you know I have these trend lines that I was following but maybe some of them a bit meaningless now you know how can you understand that 

James:

I think things have changed you know I think the I think the settling-in period if you like that the initial shock of God we hope this just goes away the fact that it hasn’t people have been trying different things and also we could traffic shifting online obviously it’s more easy to gather the data when someone comes to the store ironically even though you’re face to face with them you don’t very often get much data out of these people unless they’re prepared to fill something out so maybe that’s given people you know that the wake up so you know Bradlie saying that they’re not who they think they are maybe with that traffic shifting online is that there’s a better ability to do that but also the fact that we have to do something and I’ve been really impressed with our retail industry everyone’s been changing everyone’s been very innovative and trying to be as efficient as possible with time and automation and understand it so yeah I think that the people who are winning in this situation or making the best of it they’re definitely adapting and changing very quickly

Brad:

Yeah to that point, I would say a key driver I’ve seen useful is personalization which in many people’s opinions is useful from a customer’s point of view they don’t really see it useful from a retailers part of view – internally personalization actually gives you a hell of a lot of value because you understand a little bit more around what people need and want trying to give them products in front of them that are unnecessary or not correct build your approach around personalizing your campaigns and your targeting to each of you users and then learning from that in terms of what they want that’s a I feel flipping on ahead a little bit that’s a good place to start and gives you really good data in insight 

Andy:

I think you could you can tell actually with some retailers when this stuff came in they were very quick to merchandise the sort of product that you would then be looking for so I never mind the new in stuff that we really wanted you to see we’re going to show you desks and monitors and you know but whatever it was that the laying around the home type clothes I think that was some very smart sort of shifting that went on in order to do that you obviously have to have that stuff you have to be agile enough to sort of move around slowly you know maybe that’s another lesson that we got – 

James: 

Yeah I agree and I think with the air with Brad’s point about personalization it’s the whole messaging whole what’s important to one person is into another it might be the hygiene in a store you know am I going to come and visit the store is that delivery gonna arrive on time there’s all these different things that are going to be important to people at this stage and this is a good opportunity to trial it all out 

Andy:

What do you think men is going to happen with the stores thing because we’ve kind of had this you know there’s the impression I get is that you’ve now got a lot of volumes online and I think that’s what people are doing as you can see even as things are opening it’s still very very strong growth that we’re seeing online but the shop if you go to a shop perhaps not a supermarket as much but they sort of not essential it tends to be a very focused journey so that will be massively down but the people who go in there they’re sure as hell buying something because they’re taking that risk of them after queues bit of annoying experience and a massive thing so you know what happens they are we gonna get to a point where eventually we do just go back to the shops and then it kind of comes down you know what do you really think this sort of balances out

James:

I think it’s gonna be case by case I mean I think some some purchases are much more considered so I’ve seen groceries fifty percent up year on year in terms of June transactions I think that will stick to a point because you don’t really want to necessarily go to the shop every week or I certainly don’t to buy my groceries I’ve been converted if you like but whereas then if I’m going to buy a car or a new laptop or a Louis Vuitton bag I’m probably gonna want to go and see that and enjoy the whole experience of it so I see a transformation I don’t see the high street just suddenly shutting down and god I hope not and we’ve all got a responsibility to look after that but I do see potentially downsizing in some areas turning it maybe more into a showroom experience rather than carrying stock and having all this extra space in central London that’s costing you money but really case-by-case and what value is that store adding and I think this is the whole point about data really understanding what value that stories is bringing in your in your chain and it could be much higher than you think so before you quickly shut it down I think really understand what what role it plays in our purchase journey and if it isn’t the end point it might well be a very key decision making along the way 

Andy:

You could also see that while we had this little city centre approach because you know everyone was kind of working it you can see what’s happened with companies like Pret, where they built all their or all their outlets around sort of office space and things like that they’re now empty so Pret which was this fantastically successful company is now in really quite bad trouble and you could see you almost the local areas where they’re really struggling to get foot forward there should get in shops look you can almost see if that would be maybe where more people with go because if we are going to be home more then perhaps that kind of areas you like people will still want a guy gets out not being gone off it’s whether I said so that we that kind of think maybe that Ben is like the revival of the local area which is a complete reverse of where we sort of things yeah

James:

I think a lot of people walk hand in hand with the commuter traffic as well we’re not going to the office most of us so you know that’s stopping for a coffee on the roof however your local village as you say I think people become very protective and don’t wonder same high streets all boarded up with nothing there so maybe there’s a social responsibility there on behalf of the consumers as well as the retailer’s to talk about you know what we do in to protect you it depends on quality type you know I think it depends on sector importantly because there are some retailers that have done particularly well throughout this and we’ll have probably seen not much of a shift you know the offline versus online I think that’s probably stayed fairly central

Brad:

I mean we’ve seen a real mixed bag we’ve seen across our platform you know GMV has skyrocket for a few even a few kind of fashion retailers and then for others it really hasn’t and they seen massive decline. So whether stores reopening, I don’t I don’t feel like the shift will really return fully to where it was, I feel like we’ve been trajectory now over the past four months that it will slow but it’s definitely not going to revert. So I’d feel the shift the share of ecommerce now sitting at whatever it is, twenty thirty forty percent globally, I feel like that won’t really reduce, I feel like if anything it’s just gonna it’s going to increase but slightly slower

James:

I agree and I think that what we’ve seen in the payment side of things as well as that these numbers are slightly skewed because people have had time to focus on different regions so you may have activated China for example and suddenly your sales have gone up online because it’s all done by that channel so for some people it’s been a case of how quickly different regions have come out block down Spain came out before the UK for example so I think we’ll need a few weeks of analyzing this data to see if there’s any and any other trends in there but I totally agree with you I think I think the shift is done now I think people are educated certainly the older demographic you know you only have to look at contactless payments in Italy to see that has changed massively where what used to be a completely cash run society on buying an espresso that’s going to be done on a contactless payment now so this whole shift is continuing to move and we’ve got to be able to aim every single person out there with online payments not just focusing on who you think the customer is.

Andy:

It seems like what they’re saying is if this thing isn’t don’t wait right sorry it’s you know you can you can go outside and stuff at the moment you can’t go to a football game you can’t go to this waiting go to a synagogue and I think I think we have to sit five seats away from somebody or something and you know you can see a situation where younger people can sort of go out and start to do stuff again and go to a football game goodbye to wear a mask and a leper and the slightly older generation though maybe it’s a bit tough for them you know I’m sure that they’d be able to do that because you know they’re the ones who are really threatened by it so you know though then being engaging online now it might be the only recourse they actually have to do this stuff if they might not have a choice.

James:

Yeah it’s definitely a concern I saw I saw a stat yesterday I think for most and young that said it was like 50 about they 64% of people still don’t have the confidence to go back to stores and I’m not sure the demographics on that but I still think there’s a lot of concern about I’m sure Brad’s got a bit more insights into that

Brad:

Yeah I mean for me it’s interesting because I believe there’s a there’s a way that a retailer can innovate a bit too fast and you look at some sites particularly some fashion sites who have spent the past forum tinkering with a site and making it do all the things they probably wanted it to do you know many years invest a lot of money there and for me I don’t feel that to really improve the customer experience because what actually customers want probably is a little bit more simplicity they want especially for them demographic types where you’ve got and all the demographic who wants to build confidence in a brand they don’t want to have to spend four hours trying to check out they want to spend ten minutes once they find a product if that, so it is interesting

James:

Our view is more just making it easy for people to buy online I think you know whole sizing technology there’s so many things out there be out-of-the-box videos you see on YouTube there’s lots of ways to just inform customers about what this what this product is versus the old-fashioned way I’m assuming they’re going to come to the shop and try something Khan so I think there’s a there’s a lot of things you can do out there it’s best to talk to people like Bradlie and the experts in different spaces to figure out how you can get these people to first of all find you and then really resonate with our audience get them to trust you and then hopefully go on and become a long-term customer.

Andy:

We’ve got a question from the from the crowd and you know all we willing to name names is the thing so they’re only retailers a human would kind of put a name on what you think they’ve done really well they’ve navigated this thing well

Brad:

There are a few of course of our clients that have done particularly well there’s a few strategies have been put in place one in particular who locks down spree pretty early on they stopped trading online for several weeks three or four weeks it stopped trading for however the strategy to put in place was stealing allowing a customer to add product to their basket and on basket then asked this customer if they wanted to leave their email address for that basket email to them once the checkout was labeled again so that allowed for a firstly date capture amazing secondly it allowed for them to contact customers and have a really strong trading period as soon as they came back online so instead of easing in which was in retrospect probably a better way of doing it because they wouldn’t have out tens of thousands of olives in in our first day which is what happened and they were absolutely inundated but yeah that was a really interesting worked for them because they had you know one of the best trading days this year. This then slowed down a little bit, I feel the particularly sectors like clothing where that was the situation there is limited availability on orders or limited availability on stock products within purchased and then that’s it so for particular types of clothing that’s definitely slowed down and I feel like purchase rate and return rate customers were less than it was in the past that was one of ours. We’ve had a few of the clients that done particularly well some knitwear clients are done really well which has been interesting but more fashion clients really haven’t all the ones that I’ve noticed I mean we mentioned B&Q earlier, who have done a fantastic job from a trading perspective, I think they’re their comms have been absolutely amazing and they really kept abreast of keeping the customers aware of what’s going on and what availability is.

James:

Yeah I can’t talk about customer base and but payment options and things like that but I think just generally in the industry people I’ve seen you’ve done extremely wire if you look at Lululemon and uniquely I think we spoke about this in another podcast only but talk about our feed radio frequency tagging it’s so able to actually turn your stores into your distribution centers so it’s it’s kind of been coming and people have been doing it before but I think they’ve been up to accelerate and are now at a now year-on-year growth is effective but they’ve certainly mitigated the problem of stock going out of date you know be able to actually keep some of your staff retained and going to the stores that deliver from things and then you’ve got other companies like GymShark who’ve just use the kind of social responsibility I think we branding as HomeShark and different things like that in order to get some good publicity from it but also encouraging people with a social message and across the board I think that social feeling is is very important you know the audience now you’ve got to be transparent people are going to find out about your supply chain as we’ve seen them are you are you a reputable player that they want to work with they want to know who they’re buying from so I think the people who’ve done best out of this have been the people who’ve communicated really clearly in us as Brad mentioned yet B&Q getting to that point of operation pretty quickly servicing both the trade and consumers really clearly you know where the government messaging hasn’t been clear going out and absolutely all day using at least they’ve had that clarity and I think that inspires confidence and trust

Andy:

Yeah okay, so I’m going to quickly bring us to a conclusion, so in just one minute if you can give us your opinion on where to prioritize my investments…

Brad:

Data, 100% data, so business data and business intelligence is by far the place where every business should be focusing on. Because without that you don’t understand what’s going on within your business. By data I mean capture every single interaction possible, capture as much engagement with your brand, as you can ask for feedback as much as you can try and understand take this time that we’re where we are now taking the time to understand who your customer is and who you want your run to be long-term and that all starts with having a good data set and then you can use that to you know it delights customers in the future – surprise them you know give them better loyalty give them give them back things that you learn about them of starts with data there for me

James:

I totally agree I think data’s the the source of it all it’s the Holy Grail if you like but then it’s all the stuff we’ve been talking about messaging personalization localization everything it all drives back to this whole point do you know customer what is it that’s important to them clear messaging reassurance you know that you’re here today and you’re going to be here tomorrow as well so if I buy some goods it’s going to arrive and and I think just learning what we’ve what we’ve learned so far is going to be massive in mitigating any problems if we have a second wave which we may well do but I think would be far better prepared for it particularly in the supply chain distribution chain the fulfillment side of things so I don’t think it’s all doom and gloom I think that’s the underlining message for us and if there’s anything you want to review in any way shape or form you know we’re here, Bradlie’s here, IMRG here to field those questions and see how we can help

Andy:

Thanks fellas, you can still ask questions but I’m just going to show you some more data and there’s a chance a bit of Q&A there’s a guy who that sorry I should kill myself so I’m just going to show you a few more graphs and then we can please foreign questions if you got them to try and deal with them at the end so we looked at earlier was the year-on-year growth rates as a week on week stuff with in terms of percentage shifts well

I’m going to show you here is slightly different and I’ll kind of explain hopefully it makes sense but this here it doesn’t have a y-axis on it just because it would be too confusing but this is the amount of millions that are spent by week within our sample okay so this is the total market and this is week one through two weeks when the August 28 was the most recent launched a fifth or fourth of July and as you can see it kind of goes up and down a little bit when you get into into March properly you get that kind of uptick as you might expect where each month isn’t really the same okay so you don’t always you do get these kind of dips and trusts throughout the throughout the year but when we move into March name from there those those those those numbers are way up on where they would be relative to where to last year so you can see that everything’s at a slightly elevated position as of week 15 forward what happened in week 28 – there was a bit of a drop there it’s a drop of about 10 % moving in into that week so you can see there what it actually kind of means now the interesting thing for us of course is to look at what is going to happen over the next the next few weeks so I guess we’ve got I know it’s July but it’s retail so we’ve got a Christmas coming you know you’ve got you’ve got to start thinking about this stuff so it’s very interesting to see what’s going to happen with these these.

I’m just going to show you about a few categories as well so the first one is clothing clothing as you can see there that experience this will sharp this dip when for week 11 the instead of week 12 there was one one week there when it was down 40% at one point it really really dropped away and it has recovered as you can see it’s kind of come up a bit but I only just started to get into its positive territory but even so if you look at week 28 it’s still down slightly on where it was last week so positive year-on-year growth but we can week it was actually down a little bit so you know this is rough to just see what happens with clothing but you know it is it is on some kind of positive trajectory.

Tthe next one thing is electricals electricals is one where you see this really really sharp kind of shift so if you can see there i forgot from week 11 at week 12 just a massive kind of increase there and if we were to compare week 12 2020 and week 12 2019 it really is astronomically up from where it was so electricals has seen growth rates of sort of typically 70-80 percent week after week so massive massive growth there, but if you look at week 28 there as you can see the last sort of three weeks or so has just been coming down a bit so the minute that we got into the lockdown situation you see this massive increase because people having to buy the things that they need a home in order to see where to do stuff you know the signal boosters and the keyboards and the monitors and all this kind of stuff but it is an artificial inflation of that stuff at some point you know it’s not it’s not a frequent purchase you’re gonna keep doing at some point I guess we’re going to run out of steam a little bit so just some signs there that one is is running our steam a little bit

Then the final one is going to show you here is as I’m garden once again you can see they’re really really big wasn’t quite as fast as electricals week 12 week 13 that was a bit more of a Clym there but it’s remained a really really high level as you can see all the way through the pandemic there and if you look at we 28 probably the the biggest fall that we’ve seen in in any of those categories there so thing with home and garden is it is a reasonably expensive purchase and now that you can go on holiday and you might be spending on on that top of big-ticket stuff maybe this is one of those where you know you don’t go to buy the sofa after all and maybe we’ve done our bit bit as well so you know can home and garden stay at that really elevated position or is it going to sort of come down a little bit there I think that’s another one is slightly prone perhaps to to just running out of demand steam a little bit there

So I think that’s a yes tis just for two things I wanted to flag up to you that we’ve we’ve got coming up if you’re a retailer we’ve got this thing next week called a virtual roundbounds table this is a new thing that we’re we’re bringing in those Tuesday 11 to 12 o’clock I think they have like a couple of seats left if you wanted to, there will be a good old debate about marketing effectiveness during during crisis period and how things have changed do you need to change is doing what you’re doing for how do you deal with the increased competition etc on our website under events you can go and register for that it’s home next week so next week we’re looking at customer retention and of course we do our weekly update anyway so you’ll get to see what’s happening demand wise and whether that’s that’s coming down a little bit

So a couple of questions that we’ve got in: we normally would have Olympics by now, that’s made me really depressed can’t believe we’re missing the Olympics, how would have that affected these results?

James:

I think it’s an interesting question not just the Olympics as well all sporting events with the Euros would have taken place by now and then of course we have the Paralympics to follow the Olympics Wimbledon I think or would have been on and all of these things do tend to spike activity in Sporting Goods and general leisure facilities having said that we’ve had a massive spike in those are goods anyway I mean because people are being forced to think about more about their health and fitness so so it’s a very hard one to answer at this stage, but this time next year when we’ve got that data, I’ll be interested to see what the true impact of that spin and of course with no one else to really travel and fly out to Japan that’s massively impacted all of our customers at Heathrow Airport for example because they’re just been there’s just been no football so we’ll have a big impact

Andy:

Yeah for the Olympics we have looked at this before and look to some categories so the you see for example kind of boom in electricals and things like that and yeah it is true that you do see a bit of an uptick with with TVs and things but you did get some sort of nasty stories as well where people they buy a TV and then when England get knocked out back laughing so because it’s usually two weeks in but the thing that happened with the last sort of one-sided World Cup in 2018 where we actually did pretty well it was also really hot and there was a sort of notable impact on sales, just generally, so the online sales grow from May was really strong than it was since like 18% or something which I know doesn’t seem much now given where we are but back then that was that was actually very strong growth as strong as it’s been for quite a while and then people were also going out spending car looks really hot and people going out to watch their games in their in their pubs are the last thing so there was if there was quite a spending frenzy going on yeah it was also related to the weather and the general you know had like a raw wedding and all that sort of thing as well so there’s this cult of well hey it’s good to be British can things done I think you know

Brad:

I think we’ll see quite a delayed opportunity happen because of course Olympics and big sporting events inspire a lot of people to start sports so these are demographic of people who would be getting into sports who are waiting for the opportunity to be inspired we then would see things happen and go out and buy things, that has been delayed that won’t be happening this year so that whole period between now and you know maybe next year or the year after whenever these events starts to happen again, that’s a long time for a lot of retailers to wait for those customers to come back to them I’ll just come to them in the first place there are new customers, so yeah I think there’s gonna be a lot of retailers they struggle in their markets just because of that delay can be just everything yeah

James:

Yeah they won’t have planned for it a long time ago as well so those shipments have probably come in and there’s a lot of stock yeah so it’s an interesting thing and then also when you relay that on to things like Glastonbury you know the effect of not having these festivals or some reason to go out and buy some fashion items or some wellington boots or whatever you need to get through the British summer

Andy:

I actually still kind of had a mini Glastonbury, now I’ve got a kid it’s been more difficult to go, you know the massive coverage on BBC and they just showed a load of repeats just like lounging around in my house with larger’s

Thanks very much for your questions, I’m sure you wish to follow up on this and thanks for joining this time you can join us next week. James and Brad, thanks for doing this, thanks!

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