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Second Covid wave will leave retailers with “nowhere to hide”

As Brits brace themselves for a second wave of the coronavirus, home delivery firm ParcelHero says retailers and manufacturers are already facing a perfect storm. Footfall in retail parks, shopping centres and high streets was 70% down in the second quarter of 2020 compared to the same time last year – and the Government’s much vaunted return to work campaign seems to have done little to stem the loss.

ParcelHero’s head of consumer research, David Jinks, said that a second wave could sweep away many surviving retailers now that a number of the Government’s coronavirus schemes are ending, while the growing number of Pre-Pack Administrations keep store brands going but appear to do little to protect suppliers and customers. Jinks added: “If Covid does return in force, it’s hard to see how some of Britain’s favourite retailers and their suppliers can remain afloat. Household names such as Laura Ashley, Debenhams and Cath Kidston have already collapsed into administration this year and they won’t be the last.

“It’s not just the retailers that are drowning but all the manufacturers that supply them. The original owners of many companies are buying them out of administration and setting each one up as a ‘new co’. Going into administration protects companies from their creditors and the new company can legally cancel existing property leases.”

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