Boom Or Bust – COVID’s Ongoing Impact On Businesses
As we enter the second quarter of the fiscal year, the commercial landscape continues to change due to the on-going effects of COVID-19.
Rishi Sunak’s Spring 2021 Budget announcement earlier this month explained the economic bounce-back plan for the UK, anticipating that pent-up demand over the last 12 months should drive a leap in consumer spending. In addition, promising plans for encouraging investment in plants and machinery means it is clear that there are still plenty of opportunities for investment and growth.
Non-essential retail will be open from April 12th, an essential date for those businesses that were unable to adapt their e-commerce offering to make up for a lack of footfall. Don’t be fooled into thinking only smaller businesses have been unable to adapt. Retail giant Primark, for example, has already lost more than £1bn in sales.
In March 2021, we have seen both sides of the story, boom and bust:
Thornton’s chocolatier has sadly revealed it will be closing all of its shops, putting 600 jobs at risk due to its retail sales suffering particularly over the Christmas and Easter holidays. On the other side of the coin, DIY retailer, Screwfix, has revealed that it plans to create 600 new jobs in the UK and Ireland as it expands with 50 new shops. Its success throughout the pandemic has been attributed by the company to its e-commerce profile and popular “click-and-collect” services.
It isn’t just Screwfix that has seen a more buoyant year. Online clothing retailer Boohoo also saw year-on-year rises after adapting its range to showcase more lounge and sportswear in favour of its more traditional ‘going out’ attire. Closer to home, we have seen a number of local restaurants that never previously offered a takeaway or delivery service see a huge boom in interest.
As consumer habits continue to adapt and we work towards the expected economic recovery to pre-COVID levels by mid-2022, it is critical that business owners examine their business models and introduce new practices and consumer buying channels, whilst continuing to drive demand. Seeking professional advice during these phases will prove key.
If you are planning to introduce new policies and practices, need to refresh your standard terms, or are thinking of a new approach or structure to your existing business, our team at GA Solicitors can help.
You can contact me directly via firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 01752 203500. I have many years of commercial experience and regularly provide advice across a wide spectrum of areas including terms of business, corporate formations and reconstructions, mergers and acquisitions, partnerships, shareholder and joint venture agreements.