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British shoppers set to spend £600m on first day as stores reopen

Suban Abdulla
·2-min read
A shot of a young caucasian hipster woman and her mid adult Pakistani boyfriend looking at second hand, recycled clothing at a small local business in a market. They are wearing casual bohemian clothing, accessories, eyewear and reusable protective face masks.
Despite some lockdown measures still remaining in place, sales for the week commencing 12 April are expected to show a 4.5% increase on the same week in 2019. Photo: Getty

British shoppers are expected to spend millions as non-essential shops reopen on Monday 12 April as part of the second stage of England's roadmap out of lockdown. 

A report by VoucherCodes — the UK’s largest voucher website — and the Centre for Retail Research (CRR) predicts that 7 million shoppers will hit stores and spend £600m ($823m) in-store on the first day of trading. 

The study forecasts a steady rise in shopper numbers and sales as the week progresses. 

It is expected to hit a peak on Saturday 17 April, when spending is anticipated to break the billion pound mark, £1,013bn ($1.4bn) — a result of 10.8 million people hitting the high street.

Overall, it predicts consumers will spend £4.54bn across the week, based on 50.3 million people visiting stores.

Despite some lockdown measures still remaining in place, sales for the week commencing 12 April are expected to show a 4.5% increase on the same week in 2019. 

"With many people excited at the prospect of being able to physically look at and try the things they want to buy, as well as take advantage of longer opening times in non-essential stores, the report forecasts a much-needed boost for the high street," Anita Naik, lifestyle editor at VoucherCodes said. 

Predicted shopper numbers and retail spend in non-essential stores for the week commencing 12 April. Image: VoucherCodes, Centre for Retail Research
Predicted shopper numbers and retail spend in non-essential stores for the week commencing 12 April. Image: VoucherCodes, Centre for Retail Research

Non-essential stores have been forced shut since 5 January when prime minister Boris Johnson announced a third lockdown in England, with similar measures taken across the devolved nations.

READ MORE: UK retail footfall improves ahead of shops reopening

Last month, UK retail sales rebounded slightly, rising 2.1%. February's sales were boosted by strong demand for household goods. Sales in this category rose by 16%.

The retail sector has seen unprecedented numbers of high street job losses and store closures since the first national lockdown in March last year when shops were forced to close.

Figures by the Centre for Retail Research show that 188,685 retail jobs have vanished between the onset of the first national lockdown in the UK on 23 March 2020 and 31 March this year.

So far, the COVID crisis has seen over 17,000 store closures in shopping destinations across Great Britain.

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