Further Retail Woes With Tier 4 Measures

January 2, 2021

The UK’s retail sector is likely to face up to £2bn per week in lost sales according to the British Retail Consortium. The lost sales are down to the stop and start impact of Covid-19 regulations, and the latest Tier 4 lockdown is the third time this has happened in 2020.

Tier 4 Rules

Under the new regulations for Tier 4 areas, only essential shops will be able to open.

Essential retailers include grocery and supermarket outlets, pet stores, hardware stores and DIY shops, and newsagents.

All other outlets are forced to close, which will have an incredible impact in the final lead up to Christmas and the New Year sales trading periods.

Clothing stores and gift shops are classed as non-essential retail so have to remain closed during the Tier 4 lockdown period.

These stores had only just emerged from the November lockdown, so were desperate to make up some of their lost takings.

According to the Office for National Statistics, the retail sector lost 3.8% during the November lockdown, however, the impact could be even more than this within Tier 4 areas.

Serious Difficulty

Helen Dickinson, Chief Executive of the British Retail Consortium, said: “Many businesses will be in serious difficulty and many thousands of jobs could be at risk.”

Retailers were gearing up for the pre-Christmas trade, which is a key period for many non-essential stores, however, shops in London and across the south-east have had the rug pulled from beneath their feet.

The British Retail Consortium has warned that this action could have “severe consequences“.

Major supermarkets are also gearing up for the big Christmas food rush and have already advised shoppers not to stockpile.

A spokesman from Tesco commented that: “In the run-up to Christmas we want to reassure our customers that we have good availability, so there’s no need for customers to buy more than they need.

We will do our best to make sure our customers can enjoy themselves this year and encourage everyone to continue shopping safely and responsibly.