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Gloucestershire Business News

Superdry in Europe gives us a glimpse of the future

With Boris Johnson announcing the potential for some shops to open from June 1, Cheltenham-based Superdry has given us some clues about how customers might behave once the lockdown has been eased in the UK.

Superdry has now reopened more than 60 of its stores in Denmark, Austria, Germany and Sweden, and said initial trading had exceeded expectations, as reported by Retail Gazette.

Although still very early days, the retailer has moved from a 70 per cent decline in sales to 30 per cent. And customers are obviously looking to the future, as founder and chief executive Julian Dunkerton said they are buying trendier, new season ranges, rather than discounted clothing.

Elsewhere, budget fashion retailer Primark has reopened five stores in Austria and 20 in the Netherlands. It is also expected to start reopening stores in Belgium and Italy over the next few days.

Primark has been hit particularly hard by the lockdown across Europe, as it doesn't have an online channel.

It said footfall was down at the reopened stores and spread more evenly throughout the week. Giving hope to all retailers, it also said that basket spend was up, with sales rising particularly in nightwear, health and beauty and childrenswear.

The number of customers allowed in Primark's reopened stores is determined by its floor area - in Austria, the ratio is one person for every 10 square metres. To ensure compliance with the safety rules, fitting rooms are out of use, extra security staff have been recruited, alternate checkouts are closed and those that are open have Plexiglas screens fitted.

Last week, some Primark staff in the UK returned to stores to get them ready for reopening, once the coronavirus lockdown is eased.

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