Most UK stores to be closed until May 2020: forecast

The revised forecasts are predicated on the pandemic peaking in April

UK stores

Most UK stores to be closed until May 2020: forecast. Source:

According to GlobalData, the impact of coronavirus is expected to wipe £12.6 billion from retail sales this year.

While the food and grocery market will grow at 7.1% – the fastest rate for decades – this will not stop the overall market falling as non-food spend is forecast to drop by 8.9%. The impact on non-food is far worse even than during the financial crisis of 2009, when sales fell 2.9%. Clothing and footwear sales are forecast to be hit hardest, with sales down over 20% on 2019
Patrick O’Brien, UK Retail Research Director at GlobalData

The report revealed that most stores will be either closed or severely affected from April until late May. At the same time, the non-food spend is expected to start its recovery in June, but with more normal spending patterns not arriving until October.

The data found that the UK food and grocery market is expected to grow at 7.1% with £6.8 billion in 2020. This growth stems from a significant increase in volume sales, as shoppers buy more than they need at supermarkets.

Spend on clothing and footwear is forecast to decline by £11.1 billion in 2020, GlobalData stated. That represents a fifth loss of its market value and is equivalent to the cumulative clothing sales of the 3 market leaders Primark, Marks & Spencer and Next. Due to the fact the public avoids social interactions, clothing and footwear will be the retail sector worst hit by the coronavirus in 2020.

What is more, the retailers will be forced to cancel, postpone or redesign orders to avoid significant levels of terminal stock loss in June and July.


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