Boris Johnson revealed that non-essential retailers will be able to reopen on April 12th at the earliest, however not all shops will be reopening.
Following Monday’s announcement, it was revealed that many of the closed non-essential shops could possibly reopen from April 12th.
Brands such as Selfridges, Primark and Argos will all be allowed to swing open their doors once again, joining the list of supermarkets and other essential shops already open.
However, following a job loss rate of 484 per day, some struggling brands will operate online only.
It is estimated that of the 176,000 retail jobs lost on the high street last year, 71,986 were lost through retailers falling into administration.
A further 11,986 were lost through company voluntary arrangement (CVA) deals used to close loss-making stores such as River Island, Clarks and New Look.
Towards the end of 2020, Edinburgh Woolen Mill Group and Debenhams slashed hundreds of jobs after falling into administration.
Other brands struggling to return to the high street will operate online, such as Paperchase, Jaeger, Bonmarché and Hays Travel, who are all reducing their store counts.
118 Debenhams stores have closed for good with the brand running online under the Boohoo umbrella.
The retail empire comprising of Topshop, Dorothy Perkins, Evans, Wallis, Topman, Burton, Miss Selfridge will now also run online-only after exchanging owners with Boohoo and Asos.
Industry insiders have also warned of more closures over the next six weeks.
Helen Dickinson, the British Retail Consortium’s chief executive warned that non-food stores have lost £22 billion over the course of the pandemic and that for every day they remain closed, ‘the chances that it will never open again’ increase.
She said: “We welcome the additional clarity provided by the Prime Minister. While we are encouraged by a plan for non-essential stores to reopen, the heavy impact of the pandemic means some may never be able to.
“The cost of lost sales to non-food stores during lockdown is now over £22billion and counting. Every day that a shop remains closed increases the chances that it will never open again – costing jobs and damaging local communities.
“Government should remain flexible and allow non-essential retail to reopen as soon as the data suggests it is safe to do so. Until it is permitted, retailers will need continued support from Government.
“We welcome the PM’s call ‘not to pull the rug out’ from under businesses. To this end, the Government must act on three vital issues – rents, rates and grants.
“To avoid further job losses and permanent job closures, the Chancellor must announce a targeted business rates relief from April and extend the moratorium on debt enforcement, as well as removing state aid caps on Covid business grants.
“This would relieve struggling businesses of bills they cannot currently pay and allow them to trade their way to recovery.”
The major high street brands that will not be reopening on April 12th:
- Topshop – closed all stores (Oxford Street flagship future still unknown), online only
- Dorothy Perkins – closed all stores, online only
- Evans – closed all stores, online only
- Wallis – closed all stores, online only
- Topman – closed all stores, online only
- Burton – closed all stores, online only
- Miss Selfridge – closed all stores, online only
- Debenhams – closed 118 department stores
- Paperchase – closing 27 stores
- Jaeger – reduced store count
- Edinburugh Woolen Mill – reduced store count
- Bonmarché – reduced store count
- Hays Travel – reduced store count
- Prezzo – reduced store count
Police restart search for Moors Murders victim Keith Bennett as skull found
The search for murder victim Keith Bennet has resumed as ‘potential human remains’ were found on moorland, police have confirmed.
The remains were found during an independent search on Saddleworth Moor by author Russell Edwards, who reported his discovery to Greater Manchester Police.
Detectives are said to be analysing a small sample of the remains and some clothing, the MailOnline reports.
Twelve year old Bennett was one of the five children tortured and killed by Ian Brady and Myra Hindley in the 1960s. His body has never been recovered.
GMP said in a statement: “We have always said that GMP would act on any significant information which may lead to the recovery of Keith and reunite him with his family.
“Officers met with Mr. Edwards yesterday evening (September 29th), and he was able to locate a site of interest and provide us with further details of the work he has been carrying out.
“We are at the very early stages of assessing the evidence which he brought to our attention, but have taken the decision to excavate an area of land with a view to determining what lies there.
“It is far too early to be certain whether human remains have been uncovered, but out of respect for Alan Bennett, who we regularly maintain contact with, we have informed him of this potential development.
“Alan does not wish to be disturbed at this time and we would ask that his request for privacy is respected.”
Bennett was lured into a van by Hindley on June 16th, 1964. He was then taken to Saddleworth Moor, where he was sexually abused and murdered by Brady.
Despite his heartbroken mother’s pleas, neither Brady nor Hindley ever revealed where they had buried his body.
Winnie Johnson continued visiting Saddleworth Moor to search for her son until her death in 2012.
Cause of Queen Elizabeth’s death revealed
Queen Elizabeth’s exact cause of death has been revealed as an extract of her death certificate is released to the public.
The Registrar General for Scotland, Paul Lowe, confirmed that Her Majesty The Queen’s death was registered in Aberdeenshire on September 16th, and that the cause of her death was old age.
The document, released by National Records of Scotland, notes the Queen died at 3.10pm on Thursday September 8th.
The Queen’s only daughter Princess Anne is named as the ‘informant’ on the document, and would have notified the local registrar of her mother’s death.
Anne, who accompanied her mother’s coffin as it travelled from Balmoral to London via Edinburgh, was with the head of state in her last moments.
She said: “I was fortunate to share the last twenty-four hours of my dearest mother’s life.”
Queen Elizabeth was laid to rest on September 19th following a historic seventy-year reign on the throne.
Her Majesty spent four days lying-in-state at Westminster Hall ahead of the state funeral, where around 250,000 Royal well-wishers came to pay their respects and say a final goodbye.
Royal Mail to strike for 19 days with Black Friday and Christmas deliveries affected
Strike action will take place across October and November
Black Friday and Christmas deliveries face delays as Royal Mail workers prepare to strike across the next two months.
The Communication Workers Union announced that action in October and November will be a mixture of ‘single days and rolling action’ across Royal Mail Group’s network.
This includes walkouts from 4am on October 13th for twenty-four hours, and then again on October 20th and 25th, as well as November 28th.
The union said the strike action will have a ‘dramatic impact’ on deliveries, and will cover peak mail periods such as Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the Christmas build-up.
It could also impact Amazon’s second Prime Day, with sale dates for subscribers on October 11th and 12th.
The CWU says the strike action comes following an ‘outrageous’ decision made by the Royal Mail Group’s senior management to withdraw from major national agreements, push ahead with cuts to workers’ terms and conditions and ‘completely sideline’ the union.
General secretary Dave Ward said: “This is a significant announcement, but it is one which matches the level of anger our members feel at the way Royal Mail Group has treated them.
“The chief executive of Royal Mail Group is treating postal workers as if they are stupid. These are the same people that have kept the country connected and returned Royal Mail Group to record profit.
“Postal workers across the UK now face the fight of their lives to save their jobs and the service they provide to every household and business in the UK.”
Ward went on to urge everyone to ‘stand with their local postal worker’, adding: “If Royal Mail Group are allowed to get away with this then it sends a green light to every rogue big business in the UK.
“We will not stand by and see the Royal Mail Group become the next P&O but we need your backing to win.”
However, the Royal Mail says changes are needed as it is currently losing £1million a day. A spokesperson said: “On September 22nd, Royal Mail invited CWU to enter into talks through Acas to find a resolution to our dispute on change and pay.
“This evening, rather than responding to our offer of Acas talks, the CWU announced further damaging industrial action, once again taking the path of prolonging disruption over resolution.
“Royal Mail is losing £1 million a day and must change faster in response to changing customer demands. We operate in a competitive market, and our customers have choices… Further strikes and resistance to transformation by CWU will only make our financial position worse, and threatens the long-term job security of our postmen and women.
“The CWU has a responsibility to recognise the reality of the situation Royal Mail faces as a business and engage urgently on the changes required.
“We apologise to our customers for the inconvenience the CWU’s continued strike action will cause. We are doing all we can to minimise any delays and keep people, businesses and the country connected.”