Tuesday 29 June 2021 6:56 pm

UK shoppers sticking with online shops despite restrictions relaxing

Daily news reporter in City A.M.'s London newsroom

Online e-commerce sales continued to grow in April, despite the reopening of non-essential retail across the UK.

Demand for e-commerce packaging, a barometer for industry and sector performance, grew 11.7 per cent in April, despite brick-and-mortar shops reopening in the same month.

This followed a 35.6 per cent increase in demand in the year up to May, compared with the same period for the previous year.

According to packaging company DS Smith, retailers were the most likely to benefit from the change in behaviour, with a 29.8 per cent increase in January to May 2021 compared to the same period for 2020.

While restaurants and salons have opened, shoppers are still looking for home-based luxuries. E-commerce for food deliveries, such as meal kits, increased 45 per cent and the health and personal care sector grew 24 per cent in the year up to May, compared with that of last year.

Other sectors seeing growth included those in the pharmaceutical, drinks, automotive and retail industries.

Chris Murray, managing director of DS Smith UK, said: “It’s been a tough year for retailers so it’s been gratifying to see that the rise of e-commerce has kept businesses thriving. What is clear is that even though bricks and mortars have reopened, online shopping is going to become a greater part of our lives.”