Essential Shops Reopen with the FC Designer Collective to Follow
Today, 15th June 2020, non-essential shops re-opened, albeit with preventative health and safety measures in place. All non-essential stores selling merchandise such as clothing, books and footwear have been closed since the 23rd March 2020 and many debated if re-opening would spark much interest. Looking at the queues the morning, the answer is a resounding ‘yes’! The general public do want to shop, even if it means queuing and abiding by new safety measures.
So what are the new safety measures?
- Shop alone, stay 2 meters apart
- Wear a mask / face covering in busy shops
- Follow one-way systems marked on the floor
- Use hand sanitiser at the entrance and exit
- Only touch what you are going to buy
- Changing rooms maybe closed or restricted
- Toilets maybe closed or restricted
- Pay contactless where possible
David Fox Co-Head of Retail Agency at Colliers International commented: “We anticipate that the younger demographic will take advantage of the lifting of restrictions to socialise and visit retail destinations, but not necessarily with that much spending power, while the older generation will take a more cautious approach due to the risk of exposure. Future analysis of the effects of Covid-19 and the lockdown will focus on how the last three months have heightened the move to buying online. Retailers will continue to scrutinise their cost base in order to manage costs, and for some to simply survive, and this will continue the pressure on shopping centres and High Streets throughout the UK. Consumption is the greatest driver of our economy – the last three months have brought into ever sharper focus the need to understand how we prefer to spend, and the differing dynamics of spending patterns in the wider demographic. It is accepted that there is an oversupply of retail space in the UK, as a direct result of the pandemic the changes already expected in the decades to come will be accelerated through government and private intervention.
“From a real estate perspective, a large proportion of landlords will continue to resist committing to deferring or writing off rental arrears until the effects on turnover of re-opening under restrictions can be understood. It will be unrealistic to expect those retailers who have effectively been closed since March to meet financial commitments without the benefit of normal transaction levels. This will continue to have ramifications for the months ahead, and set the template for the future of retail in the UK.”
Long before Covid-19 impacted our daily lives plans for our own shop the ‘FC Designer Collective’ in collaboration with Islington Council and the Mayor of London (Good Growth Fund) were well underway. More than just a store the FC Designer Collective will act as a hub for creatives in the North London area with in-house making facilities, regular meet-ups, seminars and events alongside locally made designs and products. Now the green light has been given for shops to reopen we can now confirm dates and plans for this exciting retail concept.
CEO of Fashion-Enter Ltd Jenny Holloway comments: “We are really looking forward to the opening of the ‘FC Designer Collective’ at the end July located at 113-115, Fonthill Road, Islington. This will be a new type of retail shop, which will include garments being made on-site with an alterations and repairs facility, plus a range of local designers from the various sewing groups that exist in Islington. This programme will then extend to the opening of Affordable Workspace at the early part of next year too so very exciting times ahead!”
As a small, independent shop safety measures will be easier to implement and maintain. However, not all shops across Britain have reopened. Some major High Street chains such as John Lewis and Next are phasing the reopening of their stores. Looking further ahead pubs, restaurants, hairdressers, hotels and cinemas are looking at the 4th July to reopen at the very earliest, and that’s if they can meet the social distancing measures in place. Many have reported that the two-metre social distancing rule is unworkable. The pressure is now on to get the economy restarted as furlough schemes are wound down and people return back to work.