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Fashion independents begin COVID-19 temporary shut-downs

Lauretta Roberts
22 March 2020

Fashion independents have begun to implement temporary store shut-downs as the COVID-19 Coronavirus outbreak escalates in the UK.

Mini-chain Iris, which has stores across London village locations and in Amersham, has announced that it has closed them all until further notice, but will continue to operate its e-commerce operation.

Anna, which has stores in Primrose Hill, London, and Bury St Edmonds, has also closed until further notice and will fulfil online orders as long as possible. The Dressing Room in St Albans and The Hambledon in Winchster are among those to make similar announcements.

Some independents are operating reduced trading hours for now, such as Morgan Clare luxury boutique in Harrogate, which has announced it will open from 10am to 3.30pm on Monday 23 March.

Many major fashion chains, such as H&M, Gap, New Look, John Lewis, Arcadia Group and others, have already announced temporary closures with some saying they will take place for at least two weeks with others opting not to announce a predicted time-frame. All of London's landmark departments stores, Selfridges, Harrods, Harvey Nichols, Liberty and Fenwick, have closed, along with any regional branches.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has yet to announce a mandatory shut-down of all non-essential retail but it is widely believed to be his next move in a bid to keep the population at home as the potentially deadly virus spreads.

On Friday all pubs, restaurants and other leisure destinations, such as gyms and spas, were ordered to close in a bid to step up social distancing measures.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has unveiled a package of financial support to help business through the crisis from loans at attractive rates, grants for smaller businesses, VAT and rates holidays, and support with wages. More information can be found here.

For all of our COVID-19 related content, visit our dedicated content hub.

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