The UK Government has launched a series of new measures to support Covid-19 impacted businesses in the consumer and retail industry. 

As part of efforts to revive the UK retail industry, the new plan includes short and long-term support for firms to boost exports overseas post-Covid. 

It involves the provision of specialist advice to firms on online retail and international marketplaces and introduction of a new Consumer and Retail Export Academy.  

These initiatives will equip the companies with the required knowledge, skills and networks to improve exports.  

Currently, discussions on trade deals are being carried out with the US, Japan, New Zealand and Australia. 

The talks should result in new export opportunities for which long-term support will be laid out. 

UK Exports Minister Graham Stuart said: “We recognise that Coronavirus has brought challenges to many industries, not least the consumer and retail sector, where so much depends on face-to-face interactions.  

“This package of support will give businesses the helping hand they need to adapt their methods and thrive in the future. 

“More trade and investment are absolutely critical if the industry – and our whole economy – is to overcome such challenges.  

“These measures provide both short and long-term support for businesses that employ so many people across the UK. 

“As we continue to encourage businesses to increase their trade overseas, we will also ensure that they can take full advantage of the opportunities that will be unlocked through our negotiation of Free Trade Agreements with countries around the world.” 

Last month, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures revealed that July UK retail sales increased by 3.6% compared with last month and are 3.0% above pre-pandemic levels from February.