Daniel O’Neill, founder of kitchenware chain ProCook adds his reaction to the news that non-essential retailers will be able to open in England from April 12 (at the earliest, pending conditions). He comments on the loss of Easter trade:
“Whilst we are glad to have a date to work to, and I understand the plan the British government has laid out, the decision ensures we miss Easter which is retail’s biggest peak trading period outside of Black Friday and Christmas, and a vital to trade. To miss Easter for a second year in a row is painful.”
He reflects: “Throughout the pandemic as with most other retailers we’ve invested in putting strict Covid measures in place, and the risk for customers to be out in stores is no higher than supermarkets and garden centres, which have been open throughout, so we’d have liked to see a March opening date ideally.”
Acknowledging the benefits of ProCook’s established ecommerce business, Daniel continues: “Although we’ve been fortunate as a multichannel retailer to ride out the challenges of the pandemic through our ecommerce channels, there is no doubt that our stores being closed is affecting our position in the market. In the past year we’ve seen the supermarkets and garden centres grab market share as shoppers don’t have anywhere else to buy.”
Top: Missing a second Easter is hard on high street and shopping centre retailers such as ProCook.