This week, retailers across the country have opened their doors for the first time in almost three months, as the UK’s physical retail sector begins its awakening following the outbreak of Covid-19.
The opening of retail represents an opportunity for independent retailers and online sellers to capitalise, with the Coronavirus pandemic reaffirming the importance of the local community. New research from Barclaycard has suggested that over half (55%) of consumers want to increase their support of non-essential local businesses as a result of the lockdown, with essential local retailers having already experienced a significant boost in profits.
This comes amidst research from EY which found that almost two-thirds (63%) of shoppers are reluctant to return to shopping centres, whilst 25% of shoppers would still feel uncomfortable visiting high street stores or supermarkets due to overcrowding.
With the overwhelming majority of the British public working from home for the foreseeable future, footfall in city centre locations and larger shopping centres will remain well below the norm for the coming weeks, meaning that independents and online-only businesses are well-placed to entice shoppers who would otherwise stick to larger chain stores.
Co-Founder and CEO of Mayku, Alex Smilansky, discusses the opportunity for independent businesses to rapidly develop their market share in a post-Covid retail landscape:
“As the retail sector begins to thaw following the period of hibernation brought about by Covid-19, it is extremely encouraging to see that a considerable number of Britain’s shoppers are looking to boost their local economies and the independent businesses that support the community with quality products.
We have already seen that the lockdown led millions of shoppers to discover the quality service, family atmosphere and amazing range of products that their local convenience stores offer; now it is the turn of non-essential businesses to expand their market share and enjoy the profits after what has been a period of considerable difficulty.
At Mayku, we are committed to helping small independent businesses and artisans to grow by providing them with high-quality manufacturing equipment and materials that can fit on a desktop. We have long been championing the independent creators, designers, manufacturers and makers that are developing amazing products across the country, and it is our hope that the reopening of the retail sector will enable these incredible businesses to reap the rewards they deserve.”