Oct 12, 2020
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Fashion stores avoid closures in new England lockdown rules

Oct 12, 2020

Retail has avoided another wave of enforced closures for now as the UK government has announced a new set of lockdown rules for England.

New Covid-linked rules mean shops can stay open, but will consumers want to visit them? - Image: Public domain

With coronavirus infections rising fast in some parts of the country, the Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a new three-tier system on Monday.

But he also said that it won’t be the “right course” to introduce another national lockdown.

The three tiers see Liverpool placed in the strongest Very High tier that means people won’t be able to socialise with other households in any setting. Restaurants (and pubs that operate as restaurants) can stay open, although the household mixing prohibition will limit how busy these will be. Pubs and bars that don’t serve meals will have to close. Gyms are expected to close too.

But while non-essential stores will be able to stay open, the rules will still impact the fashion sector as the restrictions on socialising will limit the need and desire of consumers to buy new clothes.

The next tier down is High, which covers certain areas in the North of England and Midlands that have been operating under local restrictions in recent weeks. This means households won’t be able to mix indoors.

The Medium level covers the rest of England and comprises the current set of restrictions such as pubs and restaurants closing at 10pm. Areas will be moved in and out of one of these tiers depending on infection rates.

But as mentioned, while the country has (for now) avoided another full lockdown, the environment remains tough for retail and has just got even tougher. Heavy limits on socialising, on events, and the return to offices having stalled (possibly for months) all mean that clothes shopping will remain low on consumer priority lists.

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