Retailers and property owners unite to deliver extended store opening times for Christmas
Retailers and property owners are working together to make sure shopping is as accessible and comfortable as possible for shoppers in the run up to Christmas (2-24 December) this year.
The Government has confirmed that all retail – essential and non-essential – will be able to open from today (2 December) and remain open no matter what Tier operates locally.
Given requirements for social distancing, it is important that shoppers feel safe and comfortable. This will often mean that shops are open for longer, so that more people can get the things they want, at the time they want, and have confidence that there will be the space in stores for them to do so.
Shops on high streets can usually open without needing agreement from anyone else. However, shops in shopping centres and retail parks should work collaboratively with the owner or operator to extend opening hours.
The BRC, BPF and Revo fully support retailers who want to open for longer, and they are calling on all their respective members to engage early and positively to enable it to happen.
The BRC, BPF and Revo are jointly asking their members to do the following:
- If retailers want to operate longer opening hours, they should contact shopping centre owners/operators to inform them of their plans as soon as possible
- Owners/operators of retail locations should contact retailers to inform them of what longer opening hours are possible
- Owners/operators of retail locations should assess how many and which retailers actually want to operate longer hours in this period
- Owners should apportion any additional costs (e.g. security, cleaning, essential maintenance) incurred as a result of longer opening among those retailers that want to open for longer through their service charges, which should be paid as normal
Helen Dickinson, Chief Executive of the BRC said:
“We want make it as easy as possible for everyone to get the Christmas shopping they need over the next three weeks. Retailers want to serve their customers and spread the demand, giving flexibility for shoppers about when and how they shop. We’d encourage people to shop during less busy hours where possible and try to avoid leaving it to the last minute.”
Melanie Leech, Chief Executive of the British Property Federation said:
“Extended opening hours in December will provide a positive boost for non-essential retail in the run up to Christmas – giving shoppers more time, keeping them safe and ensuring their experience is as comfortable as possible – and property owners will want to support. If a retailer would like to benefit from the extended opening hours, this will require engaging as soon as possible with shopping centre owners and operators to ensure centres can fund and provide the necessary additional cleaning services and security.”
Vivienne King, Chief Executive of Revo said:
“We welcome the Government’s move to extend opening hours to help save Christmas for our shops, shop staff and customers and we feel sure owners, operators and occupiers will work together to make this work for all concerned. With shoppers set to return in numbers, preparation needs to be underway to ensure centres and retail places are ready to welcome them in.”