The UK Government announced on Monday 25 May 2020, a road-map for reopening a broader range of shops starting from early next month. From 1 June 2020, the intention is to let outdoor markets reopen, subject to all premises being made COVID-secure, as well as car showrooms, which often have significant outdoor space and where it is generally easier to apply social distancing. From 15 June 2020, UK Government intends to allow all other retailers, ranging from shops selling clothes, shoes, toys, furniture, books, and electronics, plus tailors, auction houses, photography studios, and indoor markets, if the Government’s five tests are met and they follow the COVID-19 secure guidelines.
You can read the full statement here. Updated guidance for the retail sector has been published alongside this announcement, detailing the measures retailers should take to meet the necessary social distancing and hygiene standards. You can find the guidance here.
The guidance relates to:
betting shops and arcades
tailors, dress fitters and fashion designers
retail art galleries
gift shops and retail spaces in theatres, museums, libraries, heritage sites and tourism sites
mobile phone stores
indoor and outdoor markets
similar types of retail
The retail sector will have to be really careful at managing the new measures and whilst it will be a welcome relief to welcome people back into these establishments, it's important that your online presence is up to scratch to help you manage this side of your business.
Customers will be nervous about mixing in such areas and it is important that you offer a great web presence for those that can't or won't venture out just yet. It is also important to be fully prepared should we be unlucky enough to have a second or third wave of this, so that you can swiftly respond to customer requirements with online digital options.