Image above: advertising for Warehouse retail chain

A fifth of shops expected to close permanently

A fifth of shops are expected to remain closed after the lockdown had ended, retail leaders have told MPs. Andrew Goodacre, chief executive of the British Independent Retailers Association, told the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Select Committee yesterday that the Coronavirus pandemic has been “the worst time ever for retail.”

He said 20 per cent of retailers surveyed by the association had told them they did not intend to reopen after the lockdown. As if to emphasize the point, clothes chains Oasis and Warehouse both went into administration yesterday, with the loss of 1800 jobs.

Andrew Goodacre also told MPs that those who are planning to reopen are worried about the amount of custom there will be.

“For those even saying they would look to reopen, there is a huge caveat about the level of trade on whether they would continue to reopen”.

Image above – The Roebuck; photograph by Anna Kunst

Changes in Chiswick High Rd

John Fitzgerald, who runs Snappy Snaps in Chiswick, told The Chiswick Calendar on Monday that he was expecting trade to be somewhere between 50% and 70% the level it had been before the lockdown. Both the Roebuck and Gourmet Burger Kitchen have closed down permanently. Other busineses, such as Snappy Snaps, are having to adapt their space so they can apply social distancing.

“Business has halved”

Autocheck Chiswick is open for business, but the number of customers has halved since the lockdown began, says Les Magiera, owner of Autocheck Chiswick.

“Many of my customers are surprised to find we’re still open”.

Garages are allowed to remain open, as they provide an essential service, but the Government has given drivers six months lee-way on getting their MOT done, and since very few people are driving anywhere, he’s had very few customers.

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Autocheck Chiswick open for business

See also: “We’re seeing five times the number of funerals” – Pot Pourri