Business News Retail

ERA welcomes re-opening of the UK high street next month

By | Published on Wednesday 27 May 2020

Entertainment Retailers Association

The Entertainment Retailers Association has welcomed confirmation from the UK government that “non-essential” stores on the high street should be able to re-open on 15 Jun.

Having previously said that the COVID-19 measures impacting all but essential retailers would start to be eased in the early part of next month, on Monday ministers said that most retail businesses would be able to re-open on 15 Jun providing “the government’s five tests are met and they follow the COVID-19 secure guidelines”.

That will mean that record shops and other high street entertainment retailers will be able to re-open, providing they follow social distancing rules.

ERA boss Kim Bayley said yesterday that this was “fantastic news”, adding: “High street stores are the lifeblood of the music business. The past ten weeks have been a devastating for record stores and music fans alike, so it is a huge relief that an end is now in sight”.

Bayley added that, while – because supermarkets have stayed open – 70% of retailers that stock entertainment products had not been affected by the COVID-19 shutdown, the 30% which had includes all the specialist stores that stock a much wider variety of products.

Many of those have continued – or started up – mail-order operations, of course, but nevertheless the impact on high street home entertainment sales has been “substantial”.

Although, of course, for music retail at large – because digital services now account for more than 80% of revenues – when you add the mail-order operations of record shops into the mix ERA reckons music retail has actually been operating at 92% capacity throughout lockdown.

But, nevertheless, for those retailers whose primary operations are on the high street – and those artists and labels for whom sales in those shops are still an important part of the business – the big re-opening on 15 Jun will be very welcome indeed.