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Calls for a ‘Shop Out to Help Out’ Scheme

30th March 2021

A number of the UK’s most well-known high street names have urged the government to introduce a ‘shop out to help out’ scheme which would aid retailers in getting back on their feet once they can re-open.

The suggestion has been put forward collectively by retail expert, Mary Portas, make-up and beauty mogul, Charlotte Tilbury, and fashion designers, Charlie Casley-Hayford and Henry Holland. It would emulate the government’s ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme.

The retail equivalent would look to encourage the public to return to high streets by offering discounted prices on purchases in non-essential stores.

The Eat Out to Help Out scheme saw the government cover 50% of bills at cafes and restaurants as an incentive for customers to get cheaper meals following the first lockdown.

The retail group sees the scheme operating in a similar way, with the government covering 50% of physical products bought at stores, capped at £10. This would be in place every Monday to Wednesday throughout the summer months.

Along with the business rates relief measure for retail stores, the group believes the extra boost could assure customer footfall and would particularly help independent businesses secure their survival.

Statistics from PwC have shown that more than 17,000 retail outlets disappeared in 2020 whilst online shopping has significantly benefitted from the pandemic lockdowns.

The British Retail Consortium have also recently estimated that around £27 billion has been lost in sales due to a 40% reduction in footfall.

The call comes days after it was announced that non-essential shops could apply for extended operating hours when they re-open on 12th April to fully maximise trading.

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