Fashion retailers have been badly hit by the coronavirus crisis. Even those with robust online offerings have reported huge drops in sales. Next, for instance, saw its online sales decline by 32 per cent in the three months to the end of April. Like others, it is keen to re-open stores, as soon as it is deemed safe to do so.
Last week the government announced its strategy to ppen non-essential retail when and where it is safe to do so and subject to those retailers being able to follow new guidelines. According to these guidelines, changing rooms are expected to remain closed while customers will be encouraged to avoid touching merchandise.
There are likely to be one-way systems through stores with clear floor markings and signage, while customer entry will be limited and consumers will be encouraged to shop alone. While fashion stores may reopen with deep discounts to clear old stock, most online retailers have already been offering sales to encourage shoppers.
Boohoo, Fat Face, French Connection, Gap, JD Sports , Next, Superdry and Topshop have offered similar 50%-off deals. The likes of Asos, Clarks, Dune, Debenhams, John Lewis, Karen Millen, New Look, Office and Quiz have also been offering cut-price deals.