Help for high streets as retail sales surge 9.2% after lockdown hibernation ends

Business

Retailers have enjoyed a surge in sales as stores dubbed non-essential were able to emerge from an enforced winter hibernation during April.

Figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed volumes rose 9.2% last month from March after COVID-19 restrictions were lifted from 12 April in England and Wales and two weeks later in Scotland, unleashing pent-up demand following months of closures.

The growth was way better than economists had expected and marked the start of a recovery for a sector that has felt some of the deepest employment pain during the crisis to date.

The fightback was led by fashion and other non-food stores.

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