Thursday 10 December 2020 12:01 am

Manufacturers set for £24bn boost from surge in direct-to-consumer sales

Manufacturers could see a £24bn boost in direct-to-consumer sales over the next three years as shoppers increasingly look to bypass traditional sales channels.

According to new data from Barclays Corporate Banking, the direct-to-consumer segment could grow in value to £120bn, up from £96bn this year.

Read more: UK PMIs: Manufacturing beats forecasts to rise for sixth month in a row

The growth is down to more and more customers opting to go straight to manufacturers to buy products, a trend which has been accelerated by the coronavirus pandemic.

According to the data, 57 per cent of people polled said that they now shop directly from manufacturers frequently, either because of better prices or better customer experience.

Strikingly, a third (32 per cent) are doing so as a conscious effort to support the UK manufacturing sector.

The most popular items being bought in this way are food and drink, electronics, and clothes, as well as household items.

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As a result in the rise in direct-to-consumer sales, an additional 118,000 jobs could be created over the next three years.

That would take the number of people employed in the sector to 618,000 by 2023.

Lee Collinson, head of manufacturing, transport and logistics at Barclays Corporate Banking, said: “2020 has been a turbulent year for all industries, and the manufacturing sector is no different. 

“However, the increasing demand to procure goods direct from the companies that make them is providing growth opportunities and confidence for manufacturers of all sizes. 

Read more: Eurozone manufacturing sector’s recovery continues despite restrictions

“D2C sales will help manufacturing firms increase their earnings and protect and create jobs in the next three years: that’s a welcome shot in the arm not only for the industry, but also for the wider UK economy.”