LSST’s Deputy CEO speaks with the British Retail Consortium about 11 months of pandemic turmoil
By Kunal Chan Mehta | Article Date: 1 March 2021
Kyle Monk, Director of Retail Insights and Analytics, the British Retail Consortium (courtesy of BRC)
The pandemic continues to rewrite the rules of retail. Covid-19 has plunged Britain into the deepest recession on record – and, when it comes to job losses, the retail sector has been the hardest hit. In a risky wait-and-see mode, the challenges faced by brick-and-mortar retailers have accelerated at shocking speed as consumers opt for stay-at-home orders 11 long months into the pandemicTo find out more, Mr Mohammed Zaidi, LSST’s Deputy CEO speaks with Kyle Monk, Director of Retail Insights and Analytics, at the British Retail Consortium (BRC) – the go-to trade association for all UK retailers.
- [MZ] As the trade association for retail businesses, what is the BRC’s purpose?
[KM] Retail is an exciting, dynamic and diverse industry. It is a driving force in our economy and the UK’s largest private-sector employer. Retailers touch the lives of millions of people every day, supporting vibrant communities where they operate. The industry is going through a turbulent period. Covid has changed the industry – forcing tens of thousands of shops to close and reopen during the past 12 months. This comes in the midst of a longer-term change, as technology transforms how people shop. The BRC’s purpose is to make a positive difference to the industry and the customers it serves, today and in the future. This means ensuring that the industry thrives through this period of change and it is a positive reinvention.
- How is the BRC committed to ensuring the industry thrives through this period of transformation? You must be going through an extraordinary time with all that is going on?
We campaign on a range of issues to ensure the industry thrives through this period of transformation. The industry needs to change. And it will take changes in government policy to support the short-term resilience of the industry as it recovers from the effects of the pandemic, and promote longer-term recovery and growth.
- By counting how many people enter your shop – or footfall – what other key metrics are crucial for survival in today’s retail climate?
We closely monitor footfall data, vacancy data and retail sales data in order to assess how retail is faring in today’s climate. For more information on the latest stats visit https://brc.org.uk/retail-insight/retail-dashboard/
- According to the BRC ShopperTraK data year on year footfall for 2020 fell by 43.4% – does this spell disaster?
- Is there a significant difference between high streets and retails parks? What about shopping centres?
- The first two weeks of Dec 2020 seemed ‘busy’ to me?
- Is there a trend in footfall forming an equilibrium with online shopping?
- So much is dampening consumer sentiment – what can recover and revitalise this?
- It has been a hard year for the entire country – but where any parts impacted more than others?
- The third lockdown will be one too many for some businesses?
- Are the coronavirus business rates relief enough?
- Many of our students have independent retail businesses, what advice would you give them?
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