09:00PM, Thursday 05 November 2020
Non-essential shops must close, the Government has said – and the impact on Slough and Windsor will be huge, with small businesses struggling to stay afloat.
Several shops in the Queensmere Shopping Centre in Slough experienced a rush of business on Wednesday, as customers raced to buy items before the lockdown.
During the lockdown period, Queensmere is partially closed, remaining open only for essential retail and ‘click and collect’ services.
The essential retailers open include Iceland, Holland & Barrett, Queensmere Newsagent, Observatory Newsagent, Adams Fruit, B&M, Timpsons, S L Supplements, Superdrug, Barclay’s Bank, One Below and Santander.
Click and collect and takeaway stores that will be remaining open are KFC, Nando’s, Subway and Greggs.
Shoppers should keep groups to a minimum and only attend with other members of their household. Congregating or socialising on the mall is prohibited.
Windsor is full of small, established, niche businesses that are classed as ‘non-essential’ by the Government, such as 30-year-old family run Cliff Roe Sports.
Owner Edna Roe said she was worried about how long the second lockdown could go on for. Cliff Roe’s Windsor store faces a ‘hopeless’ situation, and Mrs Roe worries that shops will not be back on track in December.
“If we’re not back for December it will be horrendous,” she said.
“There’s so much uncertainty – I feel personally that if we are back in December, we’ll be shut down again in January.”
There is some hope, in it is easier to quickly adapt a small family business than a large corporation. Local loyalty also counts for something in times of economic stress.
“Hopefully that will continue and customers won’t just go to Amazon – but, because there’s so much uncertainty, I don’t think people will leave their shopping to the beginning of December, I think more people will buy online just in case shops don’t open.
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