Car sales drop a third in June as showrooms open in England

New car sales in the UK fell by more than a third in June compared with a year earlier, the first month that showrooms began to open after the coronavirus shutdown.

Sales data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders on Monday showed that 145,377 cars were sold during the month, compared with 223,421 in June 2019.

Dealerships and factories were closed in April and May because of the pandemic, and the industry was expecting slow trading in the weeks following reopening, with consumers wary about returning to showrooms and appetite dented by economic uncertainties.

Showrooms were permitted to reopen at the beginning of June in England, although one in five remained closed, and later elsewhere.

“The hoped-for release of pent-up sales has not yet occurred, with consumer confidence for big ticket purchases looking weak,” said SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes.

“Many of June’s registrations could be attributed to

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Coronavirus: Fashion retailer M&Co hunts new backers amid sales slump | Business News

One of Scotland’s biggest family-owned retailers is searching for new backers amid a slump in sales exacerbated by the coronavirus lockdown.

Sky News understands that M&Co, which previously traded as Mackays, is working with Deloitte, the professional services firm, on a hunt for new investors.

Sources said that a number of turnaround funds and private equity firms had been approached to gauge their interest in a deal.

Huge queues as England’s shops reopen

M&Co employs about 2700 people across 262 stores, a corporate headquarters and distribution operations.

The company is understood to be examining options including a partial or outright sale, the latter of which could be undertaken through a pre-pack administration.

Founded in 1961, M&Co is owned by the McGeoch family and is run by Andy McGeoch, its chief executive.

Staff are said to have been briefed on Tuesday that the company is working on restructuring options, following a

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Coronavirus: Tesco sales surge as online shopping soars over COVID-19 | Business News

Tesco sales have surged over the past three months driven by a sharp rise in customers shopping online during the coronavirus lockdown.

The supermarket giant said sales were up by 8% to £13.4bn in the quarter to May.

The group said this had been bolstered by a 48.5% hike in UK online sales for the period covering the COVID-19 crisis, soaring by 90% in May alone.

Tesco boss Dave Lewis has driven a major turnaround at the group

Responding to the coronavirus-triggered demand, Tesco said it had doubled its online capacity over a five-week period and was now fulfilling more than 1.3 million orders per week.

Across the quarter as a whole, it delivered 12.6 million orders, including to a priority list of 590,000 vulnerable customers.

As well as home deliveries, there has also been an expansion of the click and collect service, making up around a quarter

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Coronavirus: House sales slowly recovering from COVID-19 lockdown – HMRC | Business News

House sales were up 16% in May compared with April, but they were still at only half the level seen a year earlier.

The figures from HM Revenue and Customs show that an estimated 48,450 residential property transactions took place across the UK during May.

This was 49.6% lower than the number seen in May 2019, when there were 96,050 sales recorded.

Housing developments were put on hold in the early weeks of the lockdown

England’s property market was closed for weeks as a result of the lockdown, which was imposed to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

The market in England reopened gradually from 13 May, so the figures are mainly due to sales that were on hold during the lockdown.

HMRC said the figures should be taken with caution, as they were “provisional” and – due to the lockdown – based on incomplete data.

Transaction numbers

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