Pandemic purchases are saving the retail industry

Madeleine Raine discusses the importance of retailers' online presence following the news that Primark made £0 in sales last month.

Madeleine Raine
22nd April 2020
Image: @brookelark (
The outbreak of COVID-19 brought a tremendous storm to the retail industry with shops being hit hard left right and centre. Primark, who currently do not have an online store, reported making £0 last month, down from its usual £650 million monthly sales, showing how important online stores are in the 21st century.

Online shopping was first developed by Michael Aldrich in 1979, but it was not until the 1990s that it began to gain traction. With the launch of the internet in 1991, online shopping became a fast and convenient way for customers to buy products across the world.

As the 90s progressed and we celebrated the new millennium, online shopping became the phenomenon that we know today. Thousands of companies throughout the world rely on online shopping as a means in which they can extend their consumer base. With the rapid advancement of technology in the 90s brought new and innovative ways in which companies were able to attract clientele from all across the globe.

Online shopping has always been the perfect solution for those of us too busy to dedicate a full day to shopping and would rather search for a new pair of jeans on the sofa whilst watching the television. No longer do we have to traipse around shop after shop looking for that perfect dress when one keyword search brings up hundreds and thousands of hits.

This new way to shop has also had a tremendous impact on the older generation and those who have more difficulties leaving the house. With thousands upon thousands of sites out there, we are completely spoilt for choice when it comes to shopping.

Image: Martin Pettitt (Flickr)

Companies such as Laura Ashley, Debenhams, and Carluccio's are all on the downward spiral with little hope of resurfacing. That is why in times like these, those companies who have opted for an online platform in which to advertise and sell their goods are winning.

With the closure of all non-essential businesses, many of us were initially left feeling distraught at the thought of our favourite clothing store closing for the foreseeable future. No longer were we able to pop into town and treat ourselves to a pair of new shoes for finishing all of our coursework or meet our friends in Costa for a warm brew.

Despite a lot of major changes happening across the globe at the minute, the one thing that is constant and a godsend is online retail. We are still able to browse to our heart’s content, just this time it’s in the comfort of our pyjamas.  

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AUTHOR: Madeleine Raine
MA History student with a BA in English Literature and History. Lifestyle writer and avid traveller who has recently branched out to also cover news articles. Twitter @RaineMadeleine

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