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UK sectors seeing recovery  

Published: Monday 24th August 2020

Various UK sectors are seeing a slight recovery despite UK national debt hitting £2tn for the first time. Retail sales are slowly building following a full month of non-essential shops being open. The opening of restaurants and pubs has also helped. However, the biggest contribution to retail figures comes from online sales.

Various shopping bags on a computer keyboard to show that some UK sectors are see some recovery.

British online electrical goods retailer AO.com recently announced the creation of 650 new jobs. These new roles will include delivery drivers, software developers and gas engineers. The jobs will be in various locations, including Manchester, Crewe and Telford. AO.com also announced sales leading up to July rose 60% in the UK and 90% in Germany. AO’s founder John Roberts, said, “The pandemic accelerated a shift in customer behaviour towards online shopping – we saw five years’ change in five weeks.” The government has revealed the entire online retail sector rose approximately 50% in July . This has helped total retail sales rise above pre-pandemic levels for the first time.

UK Cinemas look to Hollywood for help

The UK cinema sector is hoping for some good news of its own this week after other UK sectors report seeing recovery. The first Hollywood blockbuster is being released in the UK on Wednesday. The movie is called Tenet and is the first big test to see if audiences are ready to return to the big screen. The UK cinema industry is seeing its worse year in three decades. This is despite the sector already being open for one month. The top 10 films in the UK and Ireland made just over £800,000 last week. In comparison, the weekly average last year was £24 million.

Popcorn in an empty cinema to show UK sectors see some recovery.

Tim Richards is the founder of Vue, one of the largest cinema chains in Europe. Richards said of Tenet, “Expectations are that it is going to do pretty close to pre-Covid levels of business.” Such good sales are expected despite government regulations requiring audience members to wear face masks. Social distancing guidelines also mean cinemas are only operating at 60% capacity.

Changes in audience behaviour

However, the pandemic is leading to some changes in audience habits. Richards said, “People are being cautious, going on a Tuesday afternoon instead of the traditional Friday and Saturday night.” He added, “Capacity restrictions are not such a big issue as we move to a true seven-day-a-week business.” Many hope Tenet will be the beginning of a comeback for the cinema industry. The movie is the first of many other Hollywood blockbusters being released in the coming months.

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