Impact of Covid lockdowns and shifting spending habits result in 0.3% drop from 2019 level

UK retail sales suffered the biggest decline in 25 years last year as the closure of non-essential shops during lockdowns more than outweighed the online spending boom fuelled by Covid-19.

The British Retail Consortium (BRC) said total sales fell by 0.3% last year from the level in 2019 – the worst performance since records began in 1995 – reflecting the impact of government lockdowns and shifting consumer spending trends.

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