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With remote workers rediscovering their local neighbourhoods, it is smaller, more local high streets—like in Worcester—that look set to recover fastest © Nick Maslen/Alamy Stock Photo

What will the future of retail look like?

Even with the successful rollout of vaccines seeming to offer a glimpse of a post-Covid future, intelligent retailers know that there will never be a return to “normal”

By Tim Denison  

The UK high street of June 2021 seems likely to be similar to the high street of January 2020. Overall, talking to both consumers and retailers, the mood feels positive. Everyone is looking forward to some semblance of “normality” and ongoing stability after the ructions of Covid. That stability is beginning to show itself. Some non-essential shops on the high street have been open since April.

Backed up with news of the mass vaccination rollout and the development of rapid tests, this time there’s a feeling that we might have had the last of the lockdowns. Before non-essential shops and hospitality opened, ONS figures showed that retail spending was high, growing by 5.4 per cent in March 2021. People were rushing to buy new clothes, shoes and accessories online. This pent-up demand is going to give a boost to retail sales in the coming months.

Even so,…

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