The government has set out plans for non-essential retailers to open stores from 15 June.
Sofie Willmott, lead retail analyst at GlobalData, offers her view on this news: “Non-essential retailers whose stores have been closed for almost 10 weeks already, now cannot open until mid-June resulting in another two weeks’ of missed sales and two weeks less to clear through summer stock which has already been off limits for a significant chunk of its selling period. The warm weather in recent weeks would have been the ideal opportunity for clothing & footwear retailers to sell through their spring summer ranges but stores being shut for a longer period than anticipated will add to the swathes of discounting we can expect when branches reopen. Clothing & footwear is set to be the sector hardest hit by COVID-19 with offline clothing & footwear spend set to plummet over 40% this year.”
“Non-food retailers that have been able to open stores already will have a head start on those selling clothing, footwear, electricals and books, both in terms of taking sales and adjusting to the new health & safety measures required. Clothing & footwear is probably not at the top of most consumers’ shopping lists considering the absence of social occasions but given they can spend in garden centres and home stores already; clothing & footwear retailers are at a disadvantage.”