Skip to content Skip to footer

Loading Results

PwC Comments on October 2021 ONS retail sales figures


Commenting on the Office of National Statistics retail sales figures for October 2021

Lisa Hooker, consumer markets leader at PwC, said:

“Retailers will be breathing a sigh of relief as retail sales inched up in October on almost every measure. The sector as a whole is almost 10% ahead of where it was before the pandemic, and even the hardest hit categories such as fashion have almost recovered to pre-pandemic levels. Online sales have also fallen back slightly, giving the high street a much needed boost, as town centre footfall levels continue to recover, particularly at weekends, and helped by half term.

“Much of this increased spend will be accounted for by the pull forward of Christmas shopping spend that we predicted in our most recent Festive Predictions report, with shoppers particularly concerned about goods shortages and delayed deliveries. This is particularly important this year, as consumers have told us that they are determined to make Christmas extra special after the disappointment of cancelled plans during last year’s tier restrictions and lockdowns.

“And we are also seeing the continued unwinding of pent-up demand, the spending of lockdown savings and resilient consumer confidence - no doubt supported by increased employment levels as the government furlough scheme was unwound.

“This enthusiasm seems to be lasting into November, with interest in Black Friday bargains surpassing pre-pandemic levels, but the question for retailers is whether the momentum will continue into December and beyond. Rising inflation, particularly for non-discretionary spending, and the prospect of interest rate and tax rises will undoubtedly produce a drag on the sector in the new year.”


About PwC

At PwC, our purpose is to build trust in society and solve important problems. We’re a network of firms in 156 countries with over 295,000 people who are committed to delivering quality in assurance, advisory and tax services. Find out more and tell us what matters to you by visiting us at PwC.

PwC refers to the PwC network and/or one or more of its member firms, each of which is a separate legal entity. Please see how we are structured for further details.

© 2021 PwC. All rights reserved

Contact us

Nicola Thorogood

Nicola Thorogood

Manager, media relations, PwC United Kingdom

Tel: +44(0)7803 455 542

Follow us