Time to go shopping?

So non-essential shops are now allowed to open, after three months of enforced closure.

It's an important step as we move cautiously out of lock-down; however, the impact of the pandemic on retail is going to be profound and long-lasting.

We'll be queueing to get into shops, of course, and once we're in, social distancing remains vital. It looks as though we'll need to avoid touching items where we can and it's unlikely that fitting rooms in clothes shops will be open. It won't be the same experience as before, but clearly some will be delighted to get back to 'real life' shopping in some form.

However, others have taken to online shopping as a way to get that retail fix. Online sales have been rising steadily over the last decade and have really taken off during the pandemic. A recent survey by Visa notes that a third of Britons bought items online for the first time during lockdown. This may well be a permanent shift if the example of food shopping is anything to go by. The most recent monthly figures from Kantar, the research data and insight company, confirm that nearly one in five households ordered groceries online, which is 1.6 million more than the same time last year.

Non-food retailers have also seen a significant spike in online sales. KPMG estimates that online retailing could reach half of the total goods we buy by 2025, which is five years earlier than previously anticipated.

However, you choose to shop, stay safe out there, both in the real world and online.