The stricter quarantine measures, including shop closures to contain the spread of the virus, are hitting British shopkeepers hard. Sales in the generally important month of January, when many British go on bargain hunting, fell by over 8 percent. This meant that the malaise in the shopping street, but also online, was much greater than what experts expected.
Economists generally assumed that the lock-down measures would result in a 3 percent drop in sales. According to the British Retail Consortium, the three lockdowns in the country have already cost £ 22 billion (€25.4 billion) in sales losses.
Business lobby group New West End Company fears that at least one fifth of the stores in London’s well-known shopping area Oxford Street will remain closed if lockdown measures are relaxed.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson hopes that a rapid implementation of the vaccination programme will allow shops, restaurants and bars to open again by the summer. This should also boost employment and hopefully attract shoppers back to the shopping streets, that is the idea. But ex[e expect that some of the revenue that is now generated online will remain lost to the shopping street.