News | Published July 09 2019

Half of UK retail sales 'will be online within 10 years'

Online sellers are expected to scoop up over half of all UK retail sales within ten years, according to a new report.

Retail Economics, an analysis firm, suggested that online shopping could more than double its share of the retail market by 2028, with the internet expected to account for 53 per cent of all retail sales.

The analysis also suggests that people of all ages plan to shop online more in the year ahead.

The report could spell trouble for landlords, stores and people without reliable access to the internet.

Richard Lim of Retail Economics said: “Successful retailers have always had to reinvent themselves to stay relevant.

"However, the pace of change will inevitably prove too fast for many. It definitely feels like the digital retail revolution is only just getting started.”

At present, internet sellers account for around a fifth of all retail sales, but younger people who have grown up with the internet are likely to change this dynamic in the next decade.

Retail Economics also predicted that new and emerging technologies could enable the automation of delivery, which will further drive online growth.

Debenhams, Mothercare and New Look have all had to close stores in the last year as a result of difficult retail conditions, signalling wider problems with the high street retail sector that could fuel increasing calls to “reinvent” town centres.

Jeremy Hunt has pledged to scrap business rates for nine out of ten shops if he becomes prime minister, a tax which many believe has hindered high-street retailers with a physical presence.

Richard Lim added: "The industry is undergoing a painful readjustment period: the acceleration of further store closures will eventually lead to a more ‘inconvenient’ experience for some groups of consumers across many parts of the UK.

"Inevitably, this frustration will be a catalyst for further online shopping with consumers turning to online as an alternative to in-store purchases.”

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Authored by

Joshua Sandiford
Junior Political Editor
July 09 2019

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