Two-thirds (66 per cent) of UK SME retailers expect to see an increase in sales this summer, according to a new study commissioned by Royal Mail. With global reach and the number one facilitator of ecommerce in the UK, Royal Mail is well placed to observe trends across the industry.
On average, retailers are expecting a sales increase of almost a third (28 per cent) over the summer months. Warmer weather (48 per cent), bank holidays (46 per cent) and the summer wedding season (35 per cent) are the main reasons for this expected spike.
65 per cent of UK SME retailers run their business differently throughout the year to make the most of seasonal demand. 60 per cent have to specifically amend their product offering and stocks to prepare for summer orders.
Over two-thirds (68 per cent) of UK SME retailers typically sell more summer clothes than winter clothes each year. Over half (53 per cent) of retailers also agree that when the weather is warmer they see a sudden spike in sales.
This summer, retailers expect to see a spike in sales for items including: summer accessories (31 per cent) clothes (31 per cent), beach accessories (25 per cent) and sportswear (16 per cent). When it comes to summer weddings, the products that are expected to see the largest increase in sales in summer 2019 are dresses (51 per cent), brightly coloured clothes (47 per cent) and sunglasses (42 per cent).
The main reasons retailers sell more clothes during the summer months are that customers want to wear clothes suitable and comfortable for the warmer weather (75 per cent), customers want to follow the latest fashion trends (59 per cent) and they are influenced by what celebrities have been wearing (45 per cent).
Almost three-quarters (71 per cent) of the retailers surveyed currently sell to overseas customers. These retailers sell the most to Europe (63 per cent) and the US (25 per cent).
Over four in ten (41 per cent) retailers surveyed both import and export goods with 20 per cent solely exporting and 17 per cent solely importing. 39 per cent of retailers expect to see an increase in overseas sales this summer. The main reasons for this are warmer weather (16 per cent), holiday season (12 per cent) and customers preparing for increased demand in the summer (12 per cent).
A spokesperson for Royal Mail said, “It’s promising to see that many UK SME retailers are expecting an increase in sales this summer. By selecting high quality services from Royal Mail, whatever the weather, retailers can set themselves up for success.”