In an attempt to boost sales and increase safety after lockdown(s), the Government has announced that retailers will be able to stay open until 10pm six days a week when they reopen. The Guardian has the story.
The Communities Secretary, Robert Jenrick, has said extended opening hours from Monday to Saturday will help shoppers return to high streets safely when non-essential shops reopen from April 12th.
Shops will be able to extend their opening hours from 7am to 10pm to help customers avoid peak times and ease transport pressures, according to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.
Under the “roadmap” for easing lockdown measures, non-essential retailers could reopen from April 12th at the earliest, provided conditions are met.
Announcing the temporary measures, Jenrick said: “To support businesses to reopen and recover, I’ve extended measures to allow shops to stay open for longer. This is part of a package of support to help reopen our shops and high streets safely – backed by £56 million.”
The Government has announced that it will also extend flexible working hours on construction sites – one among a raft of measures intended to help make up for the losses suffered by retailers over the past year.
Earlier this week, the Local Data Company released a study showing that 11,000 outlets permanently closed in 2020. It expects that this will be followed by 18,000 more closures in 2021. The Guardian highlighted that the real impact of lockdown on businesses may be worse than the current figures indicate.
The true impact of the pandemic has yet to become apparent. Many outlets included in the research were temporarily closed during lockdowns and were not counted as shut but may never reopen after restrictions are relaxed next month.
The report on extended opening times is worth reading in full.