Police and other authorities in the UK are cracking down on stores that support non-essential shopping habits made by customers. With Easter celebrations coming up in April, Easter Eggs are one such item that are being heavily limited under the attempts to curb the spreading of Coronavirus.
If you’ve been tuning into the news recently you’ll see each day that new information on coronavirus is what all of the top stories are conveying. So, we need to work together by staying apart and supporting our key workers in any way we can. This doesn’t mean however, that we can simply ignore the businesses which rely on our custom in order to keep going on and surviving. Many of us are choosing to shop online and help our favourite retailers that way, but some are being forced into closing the online portion of their business too.
The BBC have reported that, “Convenience stores selling Easter eggs are facing interference from “heavy-handed” officials trying to restrict the range of goods they can sell under coronavirus curbs, a trade body says. Some shops have been told by police and local councils that the chocolate eggs are considered non-essential goods”.
This sort of law enforcement should be expected to continue for an extended period of time from this moment onwards. There is little to no chance of the Covid-19 pandemic being sorted out or settled down any time soon and therefore we all, as a country, need to get used to the new rules and focus more of items of necessity rather than luxury.
Off-licences and convenience shops can remain open, but will face knock-on effects due to these heavy handed restrictions that are being put into place by local authorities whom have seemingly misinterpreted the rules set by the UK government.
How your business is effected?
If you run a shop that has been marked as falling into the essential category or an online business that is still comfortable making deliveries, then this information may be of the upmost importance to you. Your business could be directly affected by the ongoing changes that the new laws and ever-stricter enforcements bring with them across the UK. So be sure to keep your eyes on the updates and follow the rules as closely as you can to avoid further disruptions.
Plan for the return of your business
You may have created a business plan before the very start of your venture, but periods of time that require further future planning present themselves again every so often. Shutdown periods, such as this current national lockdown of sorts, gives you the opportunity to develop ideas for how you can progress your business when things are a little more back to normal.
Ponder the thoughts of how you can develop your business by making a minimalistic business plan update, setting some goals out for yourself and working out how to reach objectives you’ve had a for a while now.
It is important to remember that once your business reopens, there will be people eager to shop with you once again, or utilise your services. They’ve had to wait just as you have, meaning they’ll be ready and raring to get to your business just as quickly as you want the doors of it back wide open.
This means it’s the perfect time to host a flash sale, or a similar event that will entice shoppers back in and hit them with the realisation that you have returned and are now once again open for business as usual. This would also help you to rid any inventory that you have left over from an earlier time of the year, focus on shifting these kinds of products out before you stock up with your newer stuff.
It can also increase your customer base, which is something that’s essential once you get to reopen your store, or other type of similar business. Small Business agrees with this point and says, “Clearance sales offer customers a way to access a company’s goods at a lower price point. For some types of products, like beauty supplies, clearance sales encourage customers to try new products. If customers like the product, they may become a repeat customer at the regular price point. This strategic use of clearance sales can increase a company’s customer base”.
The online switch off
The tighter business restrictions that have come at the cost of the coronavirus crisis have forced many businesses to follow suit when it comes to closing down their online stores as well as the physical ones that came before. This is largely due to the news that item restrictions are beginning to more thoroughly take place and for many companies it won’t actually be worth the cost of staying open through this impossible to predict future.
For Moss Bros, which switched off its eCommerce checkout and closed its Barking distribution facility after Johnson’s address to the nation on Monday night, the decision was a painful but straightforward one, according to head of eCommerce, Matt Henton, who said the following. “We collectively looked at it, and said we’re clearly a non-critical business with suits and formalwear – no-one could ever claim for a second we’d qualify for the essential list.”
Henton continues by stating, “We have to do the right thing by our colleagues and the wider community. We can’t in good conscience put our colleagues who work in the warehouse in any greater risk than anybody else in the business so that we can keep selling some products”.
If you’re only going to shop for essentials you aren’t putting others in risk as much, or yourself for that matter. This means it isn’t only business owners that have to take responsibility during the coronavirus pandemic, it is all of us as consumers as well. Key workers are out there risking their health each day so we all have a job to do, by letting them do as little as possible, rather than increasing their workload.
If your business has remained open because it sells essential items, shift your focus to them to avoid any punishment or penalty that may be passed onto you by the higher authorities, who’re acting to keep us all safe. If your online business is selling luxury items such as fashionable clothing, perhaps it is time to have a second think about whether it’s the correct decision to continue trading your goods or not.