Retail sales slump in May despite relaxed lockdown restrictions

Coronavirus supermarket shopper

After a record low in April, May sales figures showed little signs of improvement, registering the second-worst decline since records began in 1995.

Total retail sales dropped 5.9% in May, compared to a 1.9% decline in the same month of the previous year, according to the BRC-KPMG retail sales monitor.

While this marks a slight improvement on April, when sales declined 19.1%, this was still the second-worst decline on record. The fall was less steep than the three-month average decline of 9.4% but below the 12-month average decline of 2.6%.

Like-for-like sales in May, with figures excluding non-essential stores still mandated to close by the government but including online sales, show a 7.9% increase, largely driven by online.

Subscription content

Please sign in now if you have a subscription or are already registered with us.

Retail Week

Register for free to continue reading

Retail-Week.com provides premium, in-depth intelligence that helps retailers judge risks, spot opportunities and identify what they need to do to win in the digital economy.

Register today for a taste of our high-quality intelligence and enjoy:

  • Two free article views per calendar month on Retail-Week.com
  • Detailed analysis of current trends and events 
  • Exclusive newsletters
  • In-depth reports, videos, interviews and much more

Discover Retail Week register now

Please note, if you have recently purchased a subscription, it may take a few minutes before your account is updated.