A week on the high street - 30th November 2021
Date published: Date modified: 2021-11-30

retail

Face masks have become a legal requirement on many business premises as of this week. In a response to the latest variant of COVID-19, the government has introduced the measures for businesses including tattoo parlours, salons, estate agents, takeaways and hairdressers, and also for driving instructors and their pupils during lessons. The rules, which came into force today, will be reviewed in three weeks.

Black Friday saw a drop in high street footfall for the first time ever on the date. According to Springboard data, footfall across all retail destinations rose 2% week-on-week, but this was driven by shopping centres and retail parks; high street footfall fell 1.5%, the first Black Friday where this has happened. Data from Barclaycard showed that card transactions on Black Friday were up on 2019 and 2020 levels. The data showed a 23% increase in the volume of card transactions compared to 2020, and a 2.4% increase on 2019.

Lidl plans to open 100 more stores in the next four years, creating 4,000 new jobs. The supermarket is seeking sites in town centres, retail parks and metropolitan locations all over Britain. Previously, it planned to expand from 880 to 1,000 stores by the end of 2023. Recently, it announced plans to reach 1,100 stores by the end of 2025.

LEISURE

American restaurant group Fridays are planning to launch a premium fast-casual offer. Fridays and Go, which is set to launch in the first quarter of 2022. The brand will serve premium food to go in line with Leon and Five Guys’ offering. Fridays and Go will comprise an omnichannel offering including dine-in, delivery, at-home and food to go; the company has entered into an NDA with a major motorway services operator for potential roadside locations.

Property

Shaftesbury has resumed final dividend payments after a significant increase in activity in its portfolio. The West End was heavily impacted by the pandemic, but the landlord’s chief executive Brian Bickell said that footfall and spending were almost at, or in some cases had already reached, pre-pandemic levels. In the groups’ annual results, he added: “There has been great progress on Shaftesbury’s road to recovery in recent months. Although there is still further to travel before certainty and confidence fully returns, we believe that the combination of our exceptional and adaptable portfolio, and our culture, people and relationships will deliver a sustained return to growth and prosperity, and ensure we live up to the expectations of our shareholders and other stakeholders, for many years to come.”

Openings 

Vegan curry concept SpiceBox is crowdfunding for a third London restaurant to open early next year; Italian deli and pasta restaurant Lina Stores is to open its fifth London site in Marylebone in spring 2022; Owners of Covent Garden seafood restaurant The Oystermen are to open a second restaurant, Walter’s in West Dulwich at the beginning of next year; social enterprise business Fair Shot Café is to open a venue in Mayfair next month; London kebab brand Le Bab is to open a new site in Brixton Village, its fourth brick and mortar site; the team behind the Dirty Bones restaurant brand is to open Roxanne, a ‘hip hop speakeasy’, in Shoreditch.


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