Stores at Westfield Stratford begin preparation to reopen

Westfield Stratford

Stores inside Westfield Stratford have begun initial works to reopen, as non-essential retail is set to return in England on 12 April under Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s roadmap to exit lockdown.

TheIndustry.fashion can confirm that work has commenced inside individual store units to remove outdated advertising displays, update stock and signage, ready for COVID-secure shopping.

Retailers such as Schuh, Kids aloud and Primark have started work to reopen, whilst essential retailers including Boots and Superdrug continue to operate as normal.

UK footfall across all UK destinations was +68.1% higher last week – 21-27 March 2021, than in the same week in 2020, in what was the anniversary of the first week of Lockdown 1, according to the latest data from retail experts Springboard.

Footfall in shopping centres shifted upward, from a drop of -2.3% two weeks ago to a rise of +4.3% last week.

Primark staff were spotted throughout the shopping destination, taking part in COVID-19 safety training and store preparation.

The British Retail Consortium has previously welcomed the news that all retail is to open as step two of the Prime Minister’s plan to re-open the economy but has said the move is too late for many.

British Retail Consortium CEO Helen Dickinson said: “We welcome the additional clarity provided by the Prime Minister. While we are encouraged by a plan for non-essential stores to reopen, the heavy impact of the pandemic means some may never be able to.

Non-essential shops are ready to reopen and have been investing hundreds of millions on making themselves COVID-secure. Until it is permitted, retailers will need continued support from Government. We welcome the PM’s call ‘not to pull the rug out’ from under businesses. To this end, the Government must act on three vital issues – rents, rates and grants.