According to the Scottish Retail Consortium, the Scotland-wide lockout from Boxing Day would deprive shops of an estimated £ 135 million per closed week.
Nicola Sturgeon declared that the entire Scottish mainland will be put on Dec. 26 for at least three weeks under Level 4 coronavirus restrictions.
During the restrictions, non-essential shops, restaurants and pubs would have to close, while takeaway food will be permitted.
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A travel ban on holidays between Scotland and the rest of the UK was also declared by the First Minister – and indoor gatherings would only be permitted on Christmas Day for up to eight people from three households.
As a consequence of the closure, the SRC forecasts that stores will lose £ 135 million in sales per week in the historically busy post-Christmas season.
David Lonsdale, director of the SRC, called for increased financial support for shops and for business rate relief to be extended until 2021-22.
We agree that the government has tough choices to make and the situation with the pandemic is fast-moving, Mr. Lonsdale said, “but this extremely disappointing news rounds off an agonizing year for Scottish retailers and is another hammer blow for non-food stores that have suffered so much during this crisis.”
In order to make their stores Covid-proof for customers and workers, retailers in Scotland have spent over £ 40 million so far, and Sage Council has repeatedly said that closing non-essential stores would have a negligible effect on the spread of the virus.
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This move may have significant repercussions. The decision comes only a week after the end of local closures in western-central Scotland and in the middle of the peak trade season, on which so many rely to push their recovery and tide them through the lean winter period.
In the face of this news – and the possibility of losing £ 135 million in sales during the closure every week – several shops will be in deep trouble.
“Without the normal Christmas and New Year sales, many will be saddled with unsold pre-Christmas stock, which would be hard to sell, placing more strain on cash flow.
“All of this will have an impact on store survival, retail jobs and the vitality of our retail locations.”