A leading independent High Street retailer is hoping her clothing empire will flourish following the reopening of non-essential shops.
The UK took a step further in Boris Johnson’s four step Lockdown Roadmap, as it marked the day that non-essential retail and outdoor hospitality could reopen for the first time since December. After months of adapting to living and shopping digitally, customers hit the High Street to browse the rails.
Rebecca Morter, reopened her two Central London concept stores, selling emerging international fashion and lifestyle brands, located in Marylebone and Islington Square. She said: “Having that physical space for customers to come, see, feel, interact with the products is absolutely crucial so being open has been incredible.”
The 30 year old, named one of Drapers 30 Under 30 in 2021, detailed the company’s great response from regular customers since reopening last week. Although Ms Morter initially expected a slower flow of customers, she added: “It’s busy but it’s not the retail renaissance or roaring 20s that we’re all talking about.”
Physical stores are absolutely key, especially now, we see the desire to get out there and have the experience of being a part of a community’Rebecca Morter, CEO of Lone Design Club
This week the government announced that more than 43 million vaccinations have been given out in the UK so far and looking forward to the next easing on May 17, the entrepreneur is expecting more browsing customers as life returns to the new normal.
Rebecca said: “With the vaccination rollout, I think there’s still a little bit of caution. What we’re expecting is a gradual increase and a bigger boom come June, when everything is much more open, and people feel more comfortable.”
Ahead of non-essential shops reopening, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Kwasi Kwarteng visited the Greenwich IKEA store, to ensure regulations were being put in place to keep staff and customers safe whilst shopping.
People have suffered a huge amount but as we reopen the economy I think there’s a real opportunity to keep people safe and build back much betterKwasi Kwarteng, Secretary of State for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy
Large queues started to gather as clothing stores across the city, including Primark’s flagship store, opened their doors as early as 7am.
As customers continue to opt for physical and digital hybrid shopping experience, Ms Morter added: “Coming out of the pandemic, this is the time to really reshape retail and get these smaller sustainable brands onto the High Street.”