// The coronavirus lockdown is costing non-food businesses billions of pounds each week
// Revenues and sales are expected to remain weak even after reopening stores
New research has found that the Covid-19 lockdown is costing non-food retailers a colossal £1.8 billion a week.
The loss is evident in revenues and sales, which are expected to remain weak even as shops begin to reopen from June 15, the BRC said.
“Many retailers are eagerly looking forward to reopening stores from 15th June in order to meet the needs of their customers,” BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson said.
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“Many retailers will still be in a fight for survival. Government must act to ensure that retail rents take account of the ongoing crisis in the industry.
“Swift action would protect jobs and businesses – helping retail to play its part in restarting the UK economy.”
According to the ONS, retail sales for “predominantly non-food stores” in April 2020 were down 54.8 per cent on the previous year.
This represents a fall of £1.76 billion a week (from £3.22 billion a week, to £1.46 billion a week).
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Monday that open air markets and car showrooms would be allowed to open from June 1, while all other non-essential retailers could open from June 15.
The openings would be “contingent on progress in the fight against coronavirus” and retailers would have to adhere to the new rules.
The PM added that new guidance has been published for the retail sector “detailing the measures they should take to meet the necessary social distancing and hygiene standards”.
“Shops now have the time to implement this guidance before they reopen,” he said.