Skip navigation

Gloucestershire Business News

One in five high street stores may never reopen

A fifth of high street stores plan to stay closed permanently after the coronavirus lockdown ends. That's the stark warning from retail leaders to MPs.

Andrew Goodacre, chief executive of British Independent Retailers Association (Bira), told MPs on the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee that the coronavirus crisis had been the worst time ever for retail in the UK, as reported by Retail Gazette.

He said 20 per cent of retailers surveyed by Bira don't intend to reopen after lockdown restrictions are relaxed. And even for those planning to reopen, there are concerns about the level of trade while social distancing measures continue. If customers continue to stay away and social distancing is kept in place, he told MPs that some retailers may find it more expensive to open their stores than to stay closed.

Non-essential retailers have now been closed for almost six weeks.

Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the British Retail Consortium, told MPs that 69 per cent of non-food retailers have been hit hard by the virus. She warned that demand will very slowly gear up to what it was before the lockdown, with customers cautious about safely while shopping and also concerned about spending money.

She called on the government to continue to offer tapered support to retailers over a longer period of time, as customer demand slowly gets back to normal.

Support measures for retailers announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak include a one-year business rates holiday, the job retention scheme, VAT payment deferrals, and business interruption loans.

But Bira said only 20 per cent of its members have applied for business interruption loans because they don't see debt as the answer.

Related Articles

Coronavirus LIVE Updates: The latest news from across Gloucestershire on Friday, August 7 Image

Coronavirus LIVE Updates: The latest news from across Gloucestershire on Friday, August 7

The latest important news and updates from across Gloucestershire as the coronavirus crisis continues.

Jigsaw could be next missing piece on Cheltenham Promenade Image

Jigsaw could be next missing piece on Cheltenham Promenade

Cheltenham's beleaguered Promenade could be facing another blow with fashion retailer Jigsaw close to launching a CVA.

City traders frustrated by surprise street market  Image

City traders frustrated by surprise street market

Food from around the world has taken over the Gate Streets in Gloucester - much to the surprise of some of its usual inhabitants who say they are losing out to the visiting competition.

On-street parking charge increase planned for September Image

On-street parking charge increase planned for September

The council has now revealed that the three per cent increase will take place from next month.

Copyright 2020 Moose Partnership Ltd. All rights reserved. Reproduction of any content is strictly forbidden without prior permission.