Yesterday the Evening Standard launched its Shop London campaign to encourage readers to support the capital by shopping local this Christmas.
This has been a cataclysmically bad year for retail in London. The unholy triumvirate of the pandemic, crippling rents and rates and the continued march to online has been a triple whammy for London’s world-beating high street shops. The latest lockdown is estimated to have cost London retailers about £500 million a week in sales, a staggering £2 billion in total. The proportion of sales online has jumped from approximately 20 per cent before the pandemic to roughly 30 per cent since it started. That’s a massive acceleration of trends that were already threatening the viability of local stores.
A digital revolution is a must, but for smaller boutiques that provide both an experience and vital places to socialise, supporting local hospitality venues, they cannot compete digitally with the giants and the digital acceleration from the pandemic has left them further behind. Here you will find an exclusive discount code which will enable you to shop the capital’s high streets at up to 50 per cent off . (Shoppers can also use the code in selected stores). It is so important that we don’t just admire these wonderful shops, but actually support them with purchases.
This week’s Government announcement that shops will be allowed to stay open for 24 hours in the run up to Christmas to help revive high street stores hurt dreadfully by Covid and you can find a selection of Beauty Editor Evie Leatham’s recommendations here.