As the UK prime minister laid out his cautious ‘one-way road to freedom’ strategy to get the English economy reopened by May, the British Retail Consortium (BRC) warned the plan could be too late for many businesses.
The vaccination programme may be dealing with many millions of people every week and the spread of the virus may be sharply down, but it seems there’s no good news on the reopening of non-essential shops any time soon.
H&M will open its first new-look store in the UK at Basingstoke’s Festival Place in early summer, with the mall saying the giant shop will “offer a very different interior look and feel to other H&M stores.
With the government unwilling to allow non-essential shops to reopen very quickly, UK consumers are voting with their feet and continuing to drift back to physical shopping, even though most stores are closed.
UK consumer confidence is showing signs of recovery… albeit slowly. But any positive reading in February’s main Consumer Confidence Index isn’t anywhere near enough to reflect a “spring back to life”, GfK’s said Friday.
The UK’s retail sales fall was worse than expected last month, official figures showed on Friday. And the Office for National Statistics called out clothing stores as the key sector that saw “strong declines”.