15th June 2020
COVID-19 to add £5.3bn to UK e-commerce in 2020
- UK ecommerce predictions upgraded from £73.6bn to £78.9bn due to COVID-19
- Amazon expected to add £2bn following surge in online shopping
- Significant impact of global COVID-19 leads analysts at global retail insights firm Edge by Ascential to update all forecasts on retail sales and consumer spending in 2020
London, 15 June 2020: The surge in online shopping caused by the COVID-19 pandemic is expected to add £5.3bn to UK ecommerce sales this year to make a total of £78.9bn. This is according to analysts at Edge Retail Insight, the global trend forecasting arm of retail insights firm Edge by Ascential, who have updated all pre-existing forecasts to account for the significant long-term impact of COVID-19 on consumer shopping behaviours and preferences.
Amazon is expected to benefit the most from this surge in demand for online retail, adding an extra £2bn in UK sales, totalling £31.1bn by the end of 2020, up from analysts’ initial £29.1bn prediction prior to the pandemic.
Tesco is expected to generate the most revenue in 2020, with forecasted gross sales rising by an extra £1.7bn to reach a total of £61.1bn, up from forecasts of £59.4bn prior to the pandemic. This is followed by Sainsbury’s, which will add an extra £0.6bn in sales to reach £31bn (from £30bn) by the end of 2020.
Analysts at Edge Retail Insight have also upgraded the UK outlook for the following retail channels:
- Ecommerce: Online sales are now expected to grow from initial predictions of 11% to 19% in 2020, reaching £78.9bn, this is up from £66.3bn in 2019.
- Grocery hyper-stores: A revised growth of 3.3%, up from -0.8%, as a result of increased home cooking, following the cautious reopening of eateries and restaurants. This will now account for £82.7bn in sales.
- Pharmacies and health retailers: Health stores will see a significant boost, up from initial predictions of -4.6% to a growth of 4.0% in 2020. This will account for £13.8bn in sales, as conscious consumers continue to look after their health post-pandemic.
- Discounters (9.2% up from 8.7%) and neighbourhood stores and supermarkets (3.0% up from -0.4%) will experience modest growth at £28.9bn and £21.1bn respectively. Cash and carry operators (up 8.0% from 7.6%) will see a small increase.
Moreover, predictions for the following retail channels have been revised down by analysts because of COVID-19 disruption:
- Department stores: Following months of store closures, growth will further decline from initial predictions of -1.1% to -17.8%, to an estimated £12.9bn in 2020, as shoppers are expected to continue to shop online despite stores reopening.
- Convenience stores: Growth is revised down to 5.2% from 6.2% prior to COVID-19 but is still expected to reach a modest £28.4bn in 2020, from £28.7bn in 2019.
- Beauty specialists (down to 1.4% from 3.6%) will experience a significant decline in sales post-COVID-19, as beauty businesses remain some of the last retailers to reopen