The Retail Sector is Open for Business

Today, June 15th marks the re-opening of all non-essential shops in England, a huge boost for the retail sector. Boris Johnson, the UK’s Prime Minister ordered all non-essential shops to close their doors on 23 March. After such a long period, retailers are hoping to reign in losses they’ve sustained over the last three months.

Are consumers satisfied shopping is safe again?

Early indications suggest the answer is yes. Huge ques have been reported in the national media across England, particularly for stores such as Primark, Sports Direct and TK Maxx. Ques had been reported at some stores before 7.00am ahead of 8.00am. However, as HMV owner Doug Putman warns despite a rush in the first week, even if sales are down by 20%, most companies become unviable. Hopefully the sector can maintain its early pace over the coming weeks.

 

What measures are shops taking to assure consumer safety?

Stores are implementing a number of measures to ensure the safety of staff and consumers alike. Pre-cautions expected to be taken;

  • Shop alone whilst maintaining a 2m distance from others
  • Only took items for purchase
  • Hand sanitiser upon entry and exit
  • One-way systems
  • Fewer changing rooms (if any)
  • Contactless pay when possible

 

Shoppers can be fairly confident that their risk of transmitting the disease will be minimised, however, there is always still a risk.

 

What can shoppers expect?

  1. Shopping solo – unless you share a household
  2. Consumers will be advised not to touch products unless they plan on purchasing them
  3. Short tempered customers? Stemming from living in a state of anxiety
  4. Waiting times – due to social distancing not many customers can enter shops at once. This is likely lead to waiting times just to enter stores
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