Since the start of the recession in 2008 there have been many dire predictions about the outlook for the UK retail industry.
However, some of the recent statistics about consumer spending show that there is cause for real optimism, especially when it comes to online retailing.
Below is our handy round-up of the top six statistics which show how the UK retail sector is going through a period of change, and becoming stronger as a result. While we certainly can't claim that in-store WiFi can take all the credit for the growth in e-commerce, there's a clear lesson that retailers who innovate and look to capitalise on new technologies can benefit disproportionately from consumers' changing shopping habits.
- In February 2012, the ONS revealed that 32 million people shopped online in 2011, spending a whopping £68.3 billion
- According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), in January 2012 an estimated £24.6 billion was spent in the retail sector, which is up £1 billion on January 2011
- The e-tail industry showed an astounding growth of 18% in the past twelve months
- 34% of retailers experienced an increase in sales in February 2012, according to a recent survey from CBI Distributive Trades
- Retail sales in September 2011 were up by 0.6% compared to sales in retail sales September 2010
- UK shoppers spent £6.8bn online in December 2011 which was 25% more than December 2010