By Tony Winterburn • 14 November 2020 • 8:22
Saving Christmas From Covid is Critical for Britain- but can it be done?
Britain knows Christmas is coming when John Lewis Partnership launches its television adverts. Selling the season as a time for acts of charity rather than any particular products, this year’s edition focused on food poverty and struggling parents.
The weird and ironic thing is that it’s the department store chain itself that’s now a window on the festive period in a country that relies more on consumer spending than any of the big European economies.
With a partial lockdown in England closing all non-essential stores until at least Dec. 2, rescuing the next six weeks from Covid-19 is critical for the U.K.’s financial well-being and a government beset by accusations that it can’t get a grip on the pandemic with cabinet ministers seemingly leaving by the minute.
Further disruption, to what retailers call the “golden quarter”, could be disastrous for an industry that’s already been battered by the crisis. November and December account for one of every five pounds of retail spending in Britain.
The latest lockdown could cost retailers about €10bn euros, making what happens next month all the more important, said Kyle Monk, director of insight at the British Retail Consortium, (BRC). Household spending increases by 25% as Christmas comes. “If December is spent in lockdown it would be pretty catastrophic,” Monk said.
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