To say retail has faced its most challenging year to date is nothing short of an understatement. But, in the U.K. – where retail thrived online for the predominant percentage of the year – the end of the new lockdown and the subsequent return of a regional tier system may bring an influx of shoppers back to stores this festive season.
The latest announcement from the U.K. government has provided a potential bolster for retail as stores will be allowed to operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week across December and January (The Telegraph).
For a full insight into our Black Friday predictive breakdown, click here.
This relaxation of rules by Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick expedites the permission process of extended opening hours, allows councils to waive restrictions and provides both major and independent retailers with the chance to recoup their losses over Christmas and during the ‘January Sales’ period.
With much of the U.K. classified as Tier 2 – a restriction of residential gatherings, alcohol sales restricted to meal servings and a limit to outdoor meetings – retail is fortunately exempt from these terms and will be allowed to operate, safely, at their own hours with permission from local councils.
This, of course, is also a bolster of consumer confidence; with much of the U.K. now able to easily avoid crowds at hours of their choosing.
Thanks to the three-tier system, an additional opportunity has arisen for another sector hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic: cinemas, theatres and experiential entertainment. Cities and towns under Tier 2 (i.e., London and Liverpool), are allowed to re-open cinemas and bring people back to the big screen after streaming dominated the entertainment sector in 2020 (Variety).
With lockdown lifting on Dec. 2 – subject to a review on Dec. 16 – retail and cinemas are due to make a return this Christmas and be provided a much-needed shot in the arm for consumer activity this year.
The License Global December Issue is coming, and we’re taking a look at the biggest gifts of the year for an in-depth breakdown of the must-have toys and products across the world. Stay tuned for more.