An exclusive members survey by the British Independent Retailers Association (Bira) revealed that many stores had experienced ‘better than expected’ trade following the re-opening of non-essential shops, to include gift outlets.
“The results were encouraging but also highlighted fragile consumer confidence,” reported Bira’s ceo Andrew Goodacre.
“We therefore welcome the reopening of the hospitality sector in England on July 4, as it will further support independent retailers. However, more help is needed for independents moving forward, such as a reduction in VAT.”
The members survey was carried out to assess how retailers had faired following the reopening of non-essential shops in England on June 15.
Key findings included:
Over one fifth (22.3%) of respondents enjoyed more than 100% better sales than they would have expected pre-Covid-19; 15% had between 75-100% of expected sales compared to before the crisis. Just 11% had only taken 0-25% of predicted sales.
Almost 90% (89.3%) had implemented social distancing measures inside their premises. Some 63% had some sort of social distancing measures outside the premises and had better sales because of it.
Looking ahead, 30% of respondents feel ‘fully prepared’ for a second lockdown (national or regional), while 49.5% feel ‘somewhat prepared’ if restrictions are implemented again.
Top: Non-essential shops, to include gift stores, confirmed that business has been better than expected when they re-opened their shops two weeks ago.