Retail sales in April, the first full month of lockdown in the UK, declined a massive 18% in volume, excluding fuels. As shops open, retail will rise month-on-month, but continue to decline year-on-year as the level of retail remains durably impacted by recession.
Online soared to 30% of retail sales in April, up from 22% in March. The share of online will retreat in the second half of the year as lockdown eases and expenditure returns to the high street, but it will still claim 25-27% of retail sales excluding fuels in 2020, up from 19% in 2019.
COVID-19 is accelerating a significant consumer shift to online, and is bringing to a head the crisis of physical retail sales, setting the stage for paradigm shift.
In the past five decades, women have acquired an unparalleled financial autonomy by participating in higher education, joining the workforce and becoming entrepreneurs, despite still present barriers.
Nevertheless, the portrayal of women in films, TV programmes, and even more so, advertising campaigns, continues to channel stereotypes of times long gone, leading to a dearth of role models for girls.
Companies that commit to diversity internally are in a stronger position to recognise clichés and innovate in their activities and messaging—only companies that walk the talk will convince.
Virgin Media’s Q1 financial performance was in line with its subdued outlook, with its key problem being a lack of demand (yet) for the ultrafast services that only it can widely provide.
CV-19 has delayed the marketing of ultrafast services from competitors, likely suppressing demand more generally; in the longer term however, the working-from-home experience will likely help drive adoption.
Virgin Media still has to solve the problem of alleviating the long-term threat of full fibre builds negating its network advantage; we believe that the best answer is to expand to a nationwide service via wholesale, and the merger with the nationwide O2 reinforces this.