Four in 10 East Anglian businesses unprepared for a second wave

Shoppers are out in force, but shops are saying they're feeling the strain of a lack of office worke

Shoppers are out in force, but shops are saying they're feeling the strain of a lack of office workers. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2020

Four out of ten retailers in East Anglia have made no preparations for a second wave of the coronavirus, according to a new survey.

It found that 41pc of retailers in the region have made no changes to their business model in the event of a second wave in the autumn or winter.

The results come from a new survey of 500 retailers by Brightpearl, which provides digital operations solutions for the UK’s biggest retail brands.

MORE: Two out of Norfolk’s three Frankie & Benny’s reopen

The survey found that the health and beauty sector is the least prepared for a second wave with 75pc of companies saying they have made no preparation.

Other sectors failing to adapt to the prospect of a second wave include fashion brands (62pc have made no changes to their business model) and entertainment brands (57pc have made no changes.)


You may also want to watch:


Overall, fewer than half of retailers (42pc) are planning any further digital investment to better prepare their business for future spikes in the virus.

And only 56pc of retailers said their business could survive the devastating impact of a second wave with widespread lockdowns returning - the survey said.

Most Read

Brightpearl chief executive, Derek O’Carroll, said: “Four out of ten retailers in East Anglia have made no preparations for a second wave which could have a devastating impact on the country’s retail sector in the autumn or winter.

“Covid-19 is the retail equivalent of a meteor impact: an existential event that changes the composition of the industry and, sadly, as we’ve witnessed, the eradication of many businesses.

“We’ve seen huge digital transformation in the retail industry in a matter of months as companies look to adapt to the disruption, but the majority simply haven’t had the time to consider and plan for what the future looks like post-pandemic. That’s a dangerous position to be in, especially with the looming threat of a second wave of the virus.”

The survey also revealed a huge shift to digital and away from bricks and mortar stores since the pandemic hit the UK six months ago with 39pc saying their online sales were higher than pre-crisis.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus