WHAT DOES THE RISE IN ONLINE SHOPPING MEAN FOR WAREHOUSING DEMAND IN CARDIFF AND SOUTH WALES?
The Covid-19 pandemic forced the temporary closure of non-essential retail stores across the UK in March 2020 and encouraged many shoppers to look at options for home delivery for both essential and non-essential items. The Welsh government imposed a further two-week lockdown in October / November and non-essential retail stores were ordered to close once again.
The Office for National Statistics data for September, showed that, across the UK, non-store retailing sales volumes were 36.6% higher in September compared with February, as consumers continued to carry out much of their shopping online. More than a quarter (27.5%) of retail sales in the UK are now online, compared to 19.2% in 2019.
The shift to online shopping has been more pronounced in Wales, compared with other regions of the UK. According to a recent YouGov survey, 39% of Welsh consumers are shopping more online than during lockdown. This compares to 27% in Northern Ireland, 32% in England or 36% in Scotland. In Wales, 79% of consumers had 1-3 packages delivered per week during lockdown compared to 69% of English consumers. The most purchased items across Wales during lockdown included home and garden items, followed by alcohol, as well as health, beauty and fragrances.