Sales volumes for independent retailers in Britain have rocketed over 20% in the last 12 months when compared to the global average, according to a leading retail management software company. The report, which contains data from 13,000 retailers across the country, noted that the UK is likely to continue to experience unexpected growth in the independent retail sector. Compared to North America, monthly sales were 32% higher in the UK per store, and 15% higher than equivalents in Australia. Yet, it’s not all champagne toasts for the independent retailers as average monthly revenue was reported as 15% lower than the average across the globe, while the average value of transactions was 28% lower.
All of this data comes amidst results of a survey that showed 90% of British consumers would miss the high street if it were to close down. Likewise, over 50% of those surveyed stated that they thought the high street was improving, despite widespread closures of major brands in recent months, including House of Fraiser and BHS. This could be explained by widespread regeneration efforts by councils across the country desperate to reinvigorate desolate high streets that have struggled since the recession.
Despite the general downward trends in high street spending, all of this data is good news for retailers who rely on traditional bricks and mortar premises for their income. Yet, retailers cannot be complacent and must invest heavily in online and mobile sites to ensure growth. Other reports from Google show that the biggest thing affecting online retailers currently is slow loading times. Just a one-second wait for a website to load can reduce conversion rates by up to 20%. With consumers expecting waits of less than four seconds when shopping online, and data from the UK’s top 245 retailers showing the average website takes 11 seconds to load, a considerable amount of income is still being lost each year of over £130 billion spent each year online in Britain.