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A £24bn boost is set for the manufacturer’s coffers after a boom in companies selling direct-to-consumer, new research has suggested. Barclays Corporate Banking’s report combines polling of manufacturers, logistics firms and consumers with economic modelling to assess the impact of D2C sales, where traditional channels of distribution such as retailers and wholesalers are bypassed.

The results show that a surge in shoppers going direct will mean sales through this channel total £120bn in 2023 – an increase from £96bn this year. The bank added that the growth is being driven by consumer choices exacerbated by the pandemic.

Almost three fifths (57 per cent) of the people surveyed said they now frequently go direct to manufacturers because they believe they will get a better price (36 per cent) and better service (23 per cent). In addition, almost a third (32 per cent) of consumers are buying direct as a conscious decision to support the UK manufacturing sector, the bank added.

The most frequently purchased through the ‘direct approach’ are clothes (39 per cent), electronics (30 per cent) and food and drink (27 per cent) – as well as larger items such as household appliances (24 per cent) and furniture (22 per cent). Lee Collinson, head of manufacturing, transport and logistics at Barclays Corporate Banking, said: “2020 has been a turbulent year for all industries, and the manufacturing sector is no different.

“However, the increasing demand to procure goods direct from the companies that make them is providing growth opportunities and confidence for manufacturers of all sizes. “D2C sales will help manufacturing firms increase their earnings and protect and create jobs in the next three years: that’s a welcome shot in the arm not only for the industry, but also for the wider UK economy.”

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