News Forced Shop Closures Would Drive People Online

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Forced shop closures ‘would drive people online’
15th October 2020

By Karen Pickwick

Forced mass closure of shops in a circuit breaker scenario would be devastating for the retail sector, says the British Independent Retailers Association.

Andrew Goodacre, Bira’s CEO, is calling for retail to remain open if a countrywide ‘circuit breaker’ is enforced. During the last lockdown, pet shops were able to remain open as they were classed as key retailers.

The Government is currently considering whether to enforce the measure – which could mean the closure of schools, hospitality, leisure and, possibly, retail venues – in an effort to curb the rise in cases of covid-19.

Andrew says: “We are in autumn, a very important time for retail as we approach the festive period. Closing shops, even for a short while, will simply result in driving people online and into the hands of Amazon and the other large internet businesses.”

“We understand the need to protect lives and that is why we need certainty and clear communications to the general public and businesses – supported by enforcement and an efficient track and trace system.

“Shopping is safe – all the evidence tells us it is. In retail, we need to show leadership by making sure that the safety protocols are in place, clearly communicated and enforced.”