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Reopening Retail: Take Two

After another lockdown has seen non-essential shops close for the last few weeks, the retail industry is preparing to reopen at the start of December. Quick recovery will be key for this second reopening to ensure independents benefit from sales in the lead up to Christmas.  

Evidence from Wales suggests there could be a rush to the shops after this second lockdown and that footfall could be better sustained. This could be due to a combination of festive shopping and fear of another lockdown. So, here we’ve put together some ideas for helping you recover and reopen quickly and safely.  


Focus on Small Business Saturday

Small Business Saturday will take place on Saturday 5th December, the first Saturday after the planned reopening. Google searches for “support local businesses” have grown by 20,000% since last year(1)*, so start with a splash and embrace the shop local message by celebrating this event in your shop.  


Plan for queues

It’s hard to plan for the near future when it involves so much uncertainty and change. With the end of lockdown, social distancing measures no doubt ranging from region to region and Christmas just around the corner, it might feel impossible to know what health and safety measures you’ll need to have in place to suit the traffic coming into your shop. So, our advice is to plan for a rush; have a plan for if your customers need to queue outside (especially in bad weather!), agree the maximum amount of customers you’ll allow in your shop at any one time and consider offering scheduled time slots for your customers to book. Then ensure you have proper signage to communicate these measures to your customers. It will not only help you maintain these restrictions, but it will also let your customers know they’re safe in your business.  


Order social distancing signage with 10% off for Bira members here. 


Watch our Reopen and Recover video

We’ve been working with Google My Business and Pointy from Google to bring you tips you can use to reach your local community when it’s safe to do so. Click here to watch the video. 


Black Friday

Consider extending your Black Friday celebrations and offers to encourage more footfall in your shop. Read our guide to Black Friday and Cyber Monday here and download the free printable posters here 


Work with your neighbours – you’re stronger together

Join up with other retailers in your area to create a buzz to encourage local shoppers to visit. Plan special late night shopping events or weekend celebrations and work together to seek approval from your Local Authority for extending trading hours or one-off road closures. There’s strength in numbers and you’ll have a louder voice when working together.    


Bear in mind that any proposal to local authorities should include considerations of health and safety measures for staff and customers.  


Action can be taken now to help you prepare your business for post-lockdown. Adapting your businesses and responding to the needs of your local community will be important. You may also find our tips on how to promote your business during lockdown useful.  




*Think with Google, “Be ready for 5 shifts in shopping behaviour this holiday season”, 2020 

Additional Guidance and Resources

One small step to making your business more sustainable

Free ways to promote your business during lockdown

Five visual merchandising techniques to increase footfall instore

Free downloadable COVID posters for your shop

A Guide to Black Friday & Cyber Monday sales for independent retailers

Top used Bira services in 2020 

Further catch-up in October but polarised sales

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