Updated: May 21, 2020
When planning for the new future, we can now look to the past to see where likely opportunites lie for our army of small retailers
One of the biggest outcomes of this horrendous situation of the Covid-19 outbreak is that we will revert back to a Britain of quite a few centuries ago of perceived "British Reserve" of not being quite so tactile. It was during the horrors of the plague that kept us somewhat an arms length from our fellow citizens. Not wanting to rush to change, we have only very recently dropped our British reserve and started being very "European" in our greetings with big hugs and cheek kisses. The handshake appears today somewhat standoffish even within social settings however even that will now be a no-go area, so to be somewhat modified into the new norm of an elbow bump or foot tap! or perhaps...not!
When it comes to retail, we are already seeing dramatic and rapid changes. Our independant retailers far more nimble than the high street giants, quickly turned back the clock to 1/2 a century ago when groceries where delivered to your door, efficiently and quickly with not a delivery slot booking in sight.
Within the space of a few weeks, our local retailers are now a huge feature on our domestic streets. These independant businesses are offering a vast range of produce, that is in some cases just not in the supermarkets. Within the last week, I have seen our local Butcher delivering, the greengrocers dropping of boxes of fresh local veg, the vintners in the village offering 1/2 cases of choice bottles with free delivery, cheaper than the supermarket. Our local independant garden centre is delivering season bedding bundles at a fantastic price and again free delivery.
What is clear, we are going to be safe distancing for many years to come until this virus is eliminated from society. No one is safe as we have discovered, everyone can contract it and it appears at this stage that no one is immune from its fatal effects.
The net result I predict will be that we will rapidly change our behaviour even when lockdown is over. Supermarket shopping will be a weekly affair if that as to be frank, the dangers of close contamination are in my view obviously difficult to elliminate due to the very fact that you have to push a trolley that likely has not been disinfected from the last user, rifle through products and produce that that been touched and interacted during the supply chain to our food cupboard.
The golden days of our local stores delivering and serving our needs are back! The benefit will also see all our independent retailers benefiting too as the world has just got very local indeed.