Last Updated: April 22, 2021
Fashion stores, beauty salons, pub gardens, and other non-essential retailers opened their doors on Monday. For the first time in three months, they are now ready to welcome High Street shoppers across England and Wales.
It seems consumers were eager to get back to shopping. Shops even extended their working hours from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. to prevent crowding, but it did not take long for people to start queuing up.
As Primark reopened over 160 stores across the UK, even the cold weather could not hold back around 40 shoppers lining up at 7 a.m. outside the fashion retailer on Oxford Street in central London. The queues were even longer in trainers and sports shops like Footlocker, Nike Town, and JD Sports.
Retailers weren’t the only ones that had plenty of work on Monday. Restaurants and pubs had their hands full as well. Some of them even reported having over 1,000 clients on their waiting lists since February. Now, they are booked solid for the next couple of weeks.
Surprisingly, barbers profited the most from the latest lockdown measures. Spending on hair trims and beauty salons was up by 500% on Monday, and by 9:45 a.m., barbers averaged over £1,000 a minute.
The biggest worry of non-essential shops is that this surge will be short-lived. Retailers across the UK are concerned that after the initial increase in High Street sales, shoppers will return to their e-commerce habits. In fact, online shopping was so popular during the lockdown that internet retail accounted for 34.5% of all retail sales in the country.
Time will tell if the worries of physical retailers are justified. For now, businesses are focused on implementing the strictest measures against Covid-19, both in-store and outside, and of course, welcoming their returning and new customers.