Will Covid-19 kill the UK high street? – Live Q&A

UK high street retailers in the UK are estimated to be losing £2bn a week in sales in this second lockdown. Claer Barrett, the FT’s consumer editor, talks to Andy Bounds, the FT’s enterprise editor, and answers viewers’ comments about the future of high street retail and policy changes needed to rebalance the changing landscape. Join the discussion in the comments.

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50 thoughts on “Will Covid-19 kill the UK high street? – Live Q&A

  1. in the early 1700's some bloke used to knock out pills and potions from his spare room, which later progressed onto 'home deliveries via carts, the Mid 1700's saw the opening of the first Chemist shop, somewhere close to 20 years ago prescription drugs became available via the internet. That's progress. It comes as no surprise that high street shops are closing at an even increasing rate as more and more people have internet access. Many of the big players on the high street saw it coming and altered their businesses to ensure they enjoyed their slice of the market. As leisure time and activities increase people seem less likely to dedicate an entire day to shopping trips, as more high street retailers leave the high street, there will be less choice for shop goers. The high Street has not died, it just moved elsewhere, in much the same way as it did when out of town shopping boomed some years ago. The final thing for me to say on this is that Supermarkets have played their own part in the demise of their fixed retail outlets, some reacted to late to stack um high, sell um cheap retailers such as Aldi, while others focused on providing home deliveries, both of which have played a major role in keeping people out of their stores and if shoppers are not going into town to do a weekly shop then the smaller shops will also loose out on business.

  2. Immigration and cheapskate rubbish shops have killed the high streets, along with extortionate rents and council taxes. It's strange that good businesses have gone skint because of these charges, yet the cheap and nasty foreign owned shops have thrived ? Must be all part of the government's master plan to wipe out everything English. We need BIG change and the only way is to get rid of the three traitor parties currently scheming in Westminster.

  3. High Street Shops and Bank Branches are being killed off through online shopping and online banking. Head Offices love it: no rent to pay, no wages to pay, no pensions to pay, no overheads, expenses etc. Technology is going too far and it's being utilised to go into a cashless and online fully tracked society with increasing interference from so called free and democratic governments. People staying at home in front of their computers all the time, not caring about those who have jobs in shops and branches because they are too "too busy" and I would argue, some being lazy. Business rates and overheads caused by greedy councils lining their pockets with high wages and gold plated pensions are killing them off too. Empty units generate no revenues for anyone.

    Less employment equals less taxation collected and more demand for services and benefits. Do people not see this? A lot of society is better now but to be honest many aspects of 20/30/40 and 50 years ago plus were probably better. Didn't have these kind of problems then in society.

  4. Lets face it the high street as we know it has been declining for some time. The days of independent shops, mixed with family run restaurants is over. In my local high street post 1st lockdown 3 of the 6 charity shops we had have closed.

    Alot of shops even medium sized chains have been suffering. Covid has accelerated this. Not helped with increasing business rates.

    Online triumphs. I feel for the shop workers, they are the ones who will suffer and also the small business owners.

  5. Unfortunately it’s government policy that’s killing the high street!! We should just protect the vulnerable & the elderly, everyone else carry on as normal!!

  6. it already has. and non tax paying scum like amazon will thrive , i urge people not to buy from amazon they dont pay tax.

  7. Of course it will kill the small businesses. That is the agenda, to make people rely on the central government for dole and hence a total control. Otherwise there is no need for this lockdown for a flimsy virus which has a death rate of 0.04%

  8. The commie globalists will kill the High St, the economy and the political culture and the reason they will is because spineless, cowardly, middle class idiots have allowed this scam to happen… prepare to lose everything, your property, your livelihood , all you ever worked for in the “great marxist reset”….

  9. this is the governments plan as they want mass unemployment so then they get gthem on benifits to starve them and then bingo you cant get your benifits unless you get vaccinated .people its all about getting the whole world vaccinated but only leave 500 million unvaccinated .wake up people get ready for the biggest test on your strength as were at war with the government there squeezing us slowly

  10. I thought it already has ??? I suppose this second lockdown and any other to come will be hit squads sent out to take out any remaining.

  11. It is deliberate……The Great Reset, limited societal freedoms, no property dictated jobs and to top it all of vaccine/chip all in one (get this) that will read your thoughts. Think it is fantasy, read this link and, it is all meant to be implemented by 2030:


  12. No it won't but the government and Parliament will end all high street shopping… We are heading towards UK total bankruptcy…and no it wasn't he Internet tat killed it it I the change in peoples attitude towards life shopping online we have become fat and lazy…

  13. It is a strange world when people come to Youtube to express their opinions and to find out other scientific opinions that differ from the forced, suspect narrative that aren’t being reported in the media. It is a fact the BBC (and Cambridge & Oxford University & our Gov) have received millions in ‘donations’ from The Melinda and Bill Gates Foundation for ‘training & education’ purposes. The same foundation who are shareholders in Pfizer, Biotech vaccine companies. There is a conflict of interest and this is why you are only seeing one narrative and NOT seeing any other scientific opinions. This information is in the public domain. They have direct links to The World Economic Forum.

  14. The internet killed off the UK high street along time ago, covid brought it back to life to finish it off once and for all.

  15. The global reset is to destroy all the small independent businesses for a post Covid world what is not going to very nice for humanity

  16. But that's exactly what they want ,then you will have to shop on line ,then Ebay and Amazon will make billions people of Britain need to waken up

  17. Like someone already stated, covid hasnt killed anything…the corrupt governments have and this is what they want and is part of the plan from day 1….they want big companies like amazon etc to be in partnership with the governments to own and run everything…all part of agenda 2030

  18. Of course not. It's Government measures particularly lock down, that will kill the high street, small businesses, jobs and livelihoods. Further lock down achieves nothing in respect to COVID itself.

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