With the mercury hitting 28°C in parts of the UK this week, the nation’s resolve has been tested. Thousands flocked to UK coastlines to soak up the sun and cars were photographed queuing round the block for Whoppers and Big Macs. This week, we take a closer look at ‘reopening’. It’s clear that businesses are beginning to consider their reopening plans with gusto, but is this same optimism and energy to reopen matched with consumer desire to actually visit? Let’s take a look at some of the innovations being tried and tested and get a read on how consumers are really feeling about the reopening of retail.
The media is awash with stories about businesses (mainly in the food sector) carefully reopening in countries like Italy and China as these nations face into a brave new world. For most business owners however, the new rules remain too difficult to operate under. If footfall is impacted and social distancing exists, it would be more expensive to reopen than to stay closed. The Italian retailers’ association Confcommercio estimated that about 30 per cent of restaurants and cafes would have to remain shut. This was echoed in the UK with the British Independent Retailers Association reporting that 20 per cent of British retailers did not intend to open after lockdown.