Monday, August 31, 2020

Where Stores Are Recovering

In countries around the world lock-down and working from home has had a major impact on the already struggling retail sector. During lock-down many shops and stores were forced to close. As countries have begun to emerge from lock-down many shops have begun to reopen. However in some areas not all the stores are reopening and some now probably never will.

The Guardian has used research from the Local Data Company to explore How Britain's high streets are recovering after lockdown. Although The Guardian's analysis is based on shops in the UK the patterns of recovery and non-recovery it found in the retail sector probably apply to many other countries.

In a series of maps The Guardian shows stores in different locations closing during lock-down and then shows which stores have reopened since the easing of lock-down. The Guardian's analysis shows that stores are recovering best in locations near where people live. Conversely, in city center locations, in areas dominated by commercial offices and with few residential units, stores have struggled to reopen. Clearly while the number of people working from home remains high stores, restaurants and cafes in commercial districts will continue to struggle. I suspect this trend might be repeated in commercial districts around the world.

The Guardian's analysis also revealed that stores, cafes and restaurants in tourist towns have also struggled to reopen. In towns which rely on tourism to maintain the local economy many stores have remained closed. The Guardian reports however that an uptick in British tourists may provide some hope for shops in tourist areas.

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