Market trends – March 21

The end of lockdown 3.0 is slowly coming to an end, with many restrictions having been lifted on 12th April. Hairdressers and barber shops have been overwhelmed, with customers scrambling for haircuts and root touch ups. Many high streets had been like ghost towns for the last few months but are now showing long queues outside several of the popular shops. For many businesses that have been forced to close in the three lockdowns, it is still a time of apprehension.  Restrictions still in place could be extended. For the hospitality sectors, it has been difficult to plan on what amount of stock is needed as well as how many members of staff are required. The restrictions in place for outdoor hospitality mean many workers are still unable to return to work with only 40 % of pubs opening due to lack of outside space. But with covid infections now at the lowest rate since last summer, there is confidence that the continued easing of restrictions will remain in place.

Confidence continues to increase and reflect in buyer activity on Almost all types of businesses saw an increase in either views or enquiries, compared to February, which saw:

Increase in buyer registrations: 18%

Increase in business advert views: 15%

Increase in enquiries: 15%

March 20 Vs March 21

To show the difference a year makes, we have compared March 2020 with March 2021. In March 2020, the UK went into lockdown on 23rd March, whereas the whole of March 2021 was a lockdown, however confidence levels and signs of light at the end of the tunnel from the vaccine roll-out have made the biggest difference, with March 2021 stats far exceeding 2020s stats.

Business TypeEnquiry Increase % Mar 20 vs Mar 21
Convenience Stores150%
Fish & Chips Shops141%
Off Licences185%
Post Offices170%
Public houses37%
Bed & Breakfasts47%
Guest houses23%

Convenience stores continue to be the most popular business to enquire to. Convenience stores have consistently been the most popular businesses on While many other businesses have had to close, convenience stores provided a vital service, with shop owners / workers being key workers through the pandemic.

Buyer confidence continues to grow

Enquiry stats for February vs March, show a smaller growth for convenience stores, but it continues to be the most popular business. Other businesses such as; ‘Cafes’, ‘Fish and Chip Shops’, ‘Pubs’ and ‘holiday letting’ type businesses have all shown a sizeable increase in enquiries month on month.

Business TypeEnquiry Increase % Feb Vs Mar
Convenience Stores2%
Fish & Chips Shops26%
Off Licences1.4%
Post Offices1.5%
Public houses27%
Bed & Breakfasts47%
Guest houses35%

Buyers who had been holding off on enquiring to closed businesses are feeling more comfortable with the end of lockdown in sight. Understandably it has been a difficult time for a buyer in knowing when is the right time to start searching and enquiring, as buying a closed business in lockdown can put huge financial strain at a time when finances are already stretched. Government schemes available are mostly for businesses that can prove their accounts for the last few years, so new businesses would not be benefiting as much. Likewise, trying to sell your own business has been frustrating. Many owners that had been planning to retire etc have had to hold on to their businesses for longer than planned, waiting for a better time to sell.

Market trends – March 21