Covid-19: Supermarkets enjoy doubling of online grocery sales in June

Online grocery sales more than doubled year-on-year in June, as supermarkets expanded availability of slots, which contributed to consumer spending showing the smallest decline – 14.5% – since lockdown began.

According to data from Barclaycard, online sales grew by an impressive 105.9%, which along with the 25.7% increase in spending within supermarkets – the sharpest rise since the start of the year – provided some positive numbers for the industry.

The re-opening of non-essential shops clearly contributed to the improvement in spending levels and general merchandise retailers enjoyed an increase of 31.7% in June. The most significant uplifts came within the home improvement and DIY category with a month-on-month jump of 31.3% versus a fall of 3.2% in May.

However, there are warning signs that the full recovery of the high street will take some time as the Barclaycard research shows 56% of consumers continue to avoid shops. This reluctance to hit the high street will likely continue to provide a boost to online shopping. The new social distancing procedures are bringing some confidence for people, with 18% stating they are likely to return to shops because of these precautions.

Esme Harwood, director at Barclaycard, said: “While shoppers remain understandably cautious, slowly but surely Brits are starting to spend again. Some retailers have seen really positive increases, particularly home improvement, DIY and sports and outdoor outlets, where spend has reached higher levels than before the onset of coronavirus, when spending at these stores was in decline. It also seems shoppers are generally reassured by retailer efforts to take precautions and make their stores safer.”