England high streets will receive a welcome boost on Monday as non-essential shops will once again be allowed to open their doors to shoppers as part of Boris Johnson’s road map out of lockdown.
The Prime Minister confirmed the second stage of lockdown easing will go ahead as planned on Monday, April 12 in this week’s Downing Street press conference.
Outdoor hospitality will return meaning people will be able to enjoy outdoor beer gardens and restaurants, provided they sit outside.
Indoor leisure facilities will also be allowed to reopen under guidance set out in the government’s road map guidance.
The majority of outdoor venues in England will reopen next Monday including theme parks and zoos.
Hairdressers and nail salons will be allowed to open for business as will non-essential stores.
The new rules will be welcomed by high street stores who have been among the hardest-hit throughout the pandemic.
Unfortunately, the new rules have come too late for many stores as consumers moved to online shopping throughout the pandemic.
A number of flagship stores have been forced to close in the past year, here a number of retailers who will not be welcoming back shoppers when the high street reopens on April 12.
Burton is one of three high-profile stores forced to close as part of Arcadia entering administration.
Arcadia Group’s owner Sir Phillip Green was forced to appoint administrators in 2020.
The company admitted the forced closure of stores was a result of the Covid-19 pandemic which had a “material impact on trading.”
The menswear retailer had stores across the UK but will now trade online after Boohoo bought the three flagship Arcadia brands.
Another casualty of Arcadia’s collapse, Dorothy Perkins will not be reopening as shoppers return on Monday.
2,450 jobs were lost as a result of nationwide closures.
Like Burtons, Dorothy Perkins will still be trading online as part of the Boohoo website.
Probably the most high-profile high street collapse, a stalwart of UK high streets.
The brand saw stores close across the UK as part of the Arcadia Group collapse.
The store closures but more than 2,500 jobs at risk but Topshop and Topman products will still be available via Asos.
Plus-size clothing brand Evans became the first in the Arcadia stable to be bought out of retail giant’s administration process earlier this month.
However, the group’s £23 million takeover by Australian group City Chic did not include its bricks and mortar business.
As a result, Evans said it would not reopen its five remaining UK stores.
The deal will also raise questions over whether other Arcadia brands, such as Wallis, Burton and Dorothy Perkins, could also have online-only futures and disappear from the high street for good.
Debenhams will be reopening on April 12 but will only trade until all stock is cleared.
After scraping through previous years, the pandemic saw Debenhams finally fall into administration.
Online fashion retailer Boohoo bought the Debenhams brand and website for £55 million in a deal that will see the brand operate as an online-only retailer from next year.
Bosses confirmed the deal will not include stores as part of the structured winding down of the business.
Debenhams were hit by a fall in sales amid the coronavirus pandemic and confirmed plans for the winding down of operations in December after rescue talks with JD Sports fell through.
Oasis and Warehouse
The popular retailer for women’s clothing and accessories announced all stores would be closing after entering administration in 2020.
From now on, customers will have to shop online for Oasis and Warehouse products.
TM Lewin was another casualty of the pandemic as shops struggled for business.
The formal-wear retailer was struck by less demand for their products as more people worked from home.
It announced in June that all of its high street stores would be closing, leaving 600 people unemployed.
The retro-inspired retailer tumbled into administration in April after a downturn in profitability.
The company closed all of its 60 UK stores, with the loss of 900 jobs, as the pandemic proved to be the final straw.
Months later, it said it had secured new funding from parent company Baring Private Equity Asia to return as an online-only operation.
However, the brand made a small high street comeback earlier this month following the rescue deal.
The group reopened its flagship store in London’s Piccadilly ahead of Christmas, although it said it was an “experiential” store to showcase products it will sell online.
In March 2020, technology retail giant Dixons Carphone wielded the axe on its Carphone Warehouse chain, closing all of its UK stores.
The move hit 531 outlets across the country and almost 3,000 workers.
However, the group said some 1,800 affected staff would be given new roles elsewhere in the business.
The company’s 70 Carphone Warehouse stores in Ireland remained open and its international operations were unaffected.
However, the move reflected a sharp decline in the Carphone Warehouse brand after its £3.8 billion “merger of equals” with Dixons in 2014.
The 139-year-old department store chain opened its doors for the final time in March, as the pandemic started to have an impact on retailers.
Beales tumbled into administration at the start of the year, announcing plans to shut 12 of its 23 outlets, as talks with potential buyers faltered.
The company employed approximately 1,050 people before announcing its first closures.
However, the coronavirus crisis speeded its demise, with the group shutting its final stores weeks earlier than planned after the outbreak meant sales took a nosedive.
Shoe retailer Oliver Sweeney shuttered all its stores for good after hiring administrators last year.
The company closed its five stores, in London, Manchester and Leeds, but said it would continue to operate online.
Chief executive Tim Cooper said he would continue to lead the business, adding that he was “disappointed” about the store closures but was “confident” about shifting the group online.