The Coronavirus pandemic has had damaging effects on many businesses but it has hit the retail sector really hard.

Well known and well established shops like Debenhams and Topshop have suffered heavily with many of their stores having to shut down, leaving massive gaps in the retail market.

Asos, a leading online retailer, has agreed to buy Topshop/Topman however many jobs are still hanging in the balance. Sky business presenter Ian King explains.

 

Searching online for Topshop now redirects you to ASOS, only days after the sale.

However, for businesses which adapted for online sales have seen profit margins increasing and growing in popularity.

With everyone at home with too much time on their hands many have turned to online shopping, particularly younger people.Boohoo, which owns Pretty Little Thing and Nasty Gal, reported sales ‘surged’ in the months of May and June last year.

Mahmud Kamani – owner of BooHoo

Independent online retail businesses, Kasela, has had to adapt to the changes in the last year to keep their company going and doing so this has made them very successful.

The owner of Kasela, Kasey Caulfeild, explains the worries she had last march when lockdown was announced.

“firstly, we were very worried, we had just moved into our first office which is obviously very costly […] holidays weren’t going to be happening, and we were in complete lockdown and festival clothes are last on the list of things to buy”

Kasela’s website homepage – mainly festival fashion brand which has converted itself to loungewear throughout lockdown

This meant adapting to the changes was very important for the brand, lockdown presented a problem many independent shops have never had before.

Kasela, like many other brands, have had to suddenly rebrand the brands they have been building for years, and to move product online. Topshop failed in this area because it hadn’t prepared itself to be moving solely online, which lead to such loss of business they have had to shut.

 

The UK economy has shrank by a record of 9.9% last year due to the effects of coronavirus, showing the effects it has had on hospitality and retail sector. And with the UK still in lockdown it hasn’t yet been seen to be improving.

Paul Jarman runs a card and gift shop, Creased Cards, in the famous lanes of Brighton.

Creased Cards shop front in Brighton

The Bank of England is saying that there is a lot of money being held within banks and people are waiting to spend it. When lockdown is over, we could see a rise in the amount of money being spent by the public boosting the economy back up to where it was pre-pandemic.

For a more in depth view of the retail and hospitality sector visit here.