As a result of the lockdown, all non-essential shops, including tech, toy and clothing retailers, in England have been forced to close. Lockdown has already meant permanent closure for a number of high street brands including, Cath Kinston, Laura Ashley, Oasis and Warehouse, who are all now out of business. Even when restrictions were eased over the summer, two-thirds of businesses noted a drop in footfall compared to pre-pandemic days.
When can shops reopen after lockdown?
The Government says the lockdown measures in place will extend until and including Wednesday, December 2.
After this date, on December 3, shops are expected to be able to reopen their doors once again.
However, there has been mounting speculation that the lockdown period will be further extending, with many fearing it will spell the end of hundreds of businesses.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson told MPs that after December “I hope very much, to be able to get this country going again”, but added it “depends on us all doing our bit now to make sure that we get the R rate down”.
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On Tuesday, Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick said any extension of the current lockdown measures would need a vote of Parliament.
Mr Jenrick said the Government will be reviewing restrictions towards the end of the month, suggesting a decision could be made by the end of next week.
The Minister told Sky News: “It is our hope and expectation that that won’t be the case and that people in England will be able to move back into the tiered system.
“There will be a review. That work is undergoing on what those tiers look like and how local areas go back in, but that will very much depend on the data.
Deliveries could be delayed for weeks, potentially leaving families without presents on Christmas Day.
John Lewis begged ministers to provide “clarity as soon as possible” to give bigger stores the time to “swing into gear”.
The department store’s boss Andrew Murphy said a decision would impact whether the chain recruits any Christmas temp staff.
Helen Dickinson, the head of the British Retail Consortium, warned of the consequences of closing non-essential retail.
Ms Dickinson said one company had informed her that 4,000 jobs were at risk if 2020’s festive season were to be disrupted.
The retail boss said stores in England were expecting to be £2billion down per week during the lockdown.
A lack of additional capacity online has so far failed to offset the loss of profit accrued by a number of companies.
She said: “The most important thing at this point is that we have real clarity that reopening will occur as planned because I think without it, the knock-on effects for many retail businesses will be severe.”