We have all suffered as a result of the coronavirus and the subsequent lockdown but few have suffered more from an economic perspective as the good old fashioned British high street shops.
Whilst life is slowly starting to return to the high street, there has been a definite sea change in the way people are doing their shopping as a result of lockdown and that is bound to have a lasting ripple effect going forward.
Will the high streets look, feel and act the same in a post-lockdown world? Or will the high street this summer be practically unrecognisable from the high street of summers past?
We have all become more accustomed to the ease and convenience of online shopping in recent months and many brands and retailers saw the way the tables were turning anyway and have already invested a great deal in their online retail sectors.
Now that shops are beginning to open again, will we flock to the high street out of boredom, loyalty or the need to begin to feel normal again? Or have we been spoilt by the online retail innovation that has come about as a necessity? Only time will tell.
We’ve all become used to the “Stay safe” mantra during the lockdown, to the extent that many of us might be sick to the teeth with it. With shops open again, however, safety is going to be at the forefront of most shopper’s minds.
This means all shops are expected to be “Covid-secure,” which means setting up areas where customers can wash or sanitise their hands, making social distancing a priority by limiting store access and ensuring all staff members are fully clued up on the virus and company protocols. It’s a lot to take in and might put a lot of people off returning to the high street.
For retailers, there are pages and pages of detailed government advice but for the customer, it’s been very much left up to ‘common sense’. So, if you want to hit the high streets in the near future and help get the economy up and running again, you’re going to need to be adequately prepared.
Essentials are obviously hand sanitiser and PPE, but you could also kit yourself out with a good reliable backpack to keep all of your essentials safe in. You should also take regular breaks in your shopping activities to sanitise your hands because every door handle and item of clothing could very well be infected.
The high street this summer is going to feel like a very strange place indeed but if we want to stand any hope of bringing the UK economy back to life then we’re going to have to use that good old British stiff upper lip and get on with it safely. It’s up to us, Britain!