Coronavirus: Shoppers ‘may be reluctant’ to return

Retailers in England will start to reopen in June, with open air markets and car showrooms from next week and shops two weeks later.

But with online shopping booming during the lockdown, there are questions over whether shoppers will return.

Shops are going to have to invest in a number of new safety measures.

And a sweet shop owner told the BBC that businesses were concerned they would not get enough customers to make reopening profitable.

“The big issue, I think, for a lot of business will be whether they get enough business coming in in those first few days to enable them to pay their staff,” Jeanette told BBC Breakfast.

Customers to be trusted

Meanwhile, the head of a car dealership has said that customers will be trusted to take test drives alone as part of safety measures when they reopen next week.

Robert Forrester, chief executive of Vertu Motors, said his company had set up a number of measures inside their showrooms to become Covid-secure.

And he told BBC Breakfast: “When you actually go for a test drive, you will be the only person in the car.

“We trust the vast majority of our customers to do the right thing.”

He added: “It changes how we sell cars, but there are a lot of changes in how we sell cars.

“People are doing far more on the internet. Our online sales have gone up quite considerably over the period.

“We sold 650 cars last week as a group without a single test drive and not one person coming into a showroom.”

Mr Forrester added that showrooms would look very different when customers are able to visit again from next Monday.

“They will have one-way systems, hand sanitisers, there will be people with masks and we’ve got perspex screens to protect the customers and the colleagues.”

‘Great position’

The managing director of Westfield’s UK shopping centres said they were placed to cope with the new regulations.

“Compared to a narrow pavement on a High Street, the sheer scale of our centres puts us in a great position to safely manage the customer journey through our malls,” Scott Parsons told the Today programme.

“We’ve got digital football trackers so we can safely manage crowds as they enter and exit we can impose one way systems and markings on the pavements.”

Other measures imposed at the centres include car park controls and sanitisation stations.

Source Article