The moment a lot of people have been waiting for – London is getting out of lockdown. No more empty and ghostly streets. The capital is coming back to life and reopens non-essential stores today, 15 June 2020. The Covid-19 is still present, but we can see the numbers of new cases and death rate going down. People adjust to the new normal. Many of London’s citizens returned to work, a big part of them in retail.
Today’s walk will be in central London, in the heart of the shopping district. I will take you with me to:
- London reopens non-essential stores on Oxford Street
- Reopening of Selfridges
- Reopening of the shops on Regent Street
- Open stores on Carnaby Street
London reopens non-essential stores on Oxford Street
We start at the very beginning of Oxford Street and its west end. The morning is not crazy busy, but we can notice people gathering around the first opened shops. London reopens non-essential stores and Primark is one of the most visited fashion retailers. They offer clothing and accessories for women, men and children. They also have a wide range of home decor. Many people anticipated the shop, because unlike many others, Primark does not have an online shop. The doors were open for customers early in the morning, before the rest of the shops. We can see the members of staff strictly following the amount of people going in and out. As per Government’s advice all non-essential shops have to ensure they can keep the clients 2 meters apart and make sure they maintain the hygiene level high. You will see that some people have already filled their Primark bags and continue down Oxford Street for more. Walking down the street, we see shops like Bershka, Pandora, Zara.
Reopening of Selfridges
One of the longest queues is in front of Selfidges. It is a chain of more high-end brands and is a department store. Many people enjoy buying designer pieces from there, because they have it all under one roof. Selfridges takes a significant amount of space on Oxford Street and is a giant beautiful building. Everyone who shops there gets a yellow bag, which became the symbol of the shop. The long line before the opening of Selfridges may be because of the variety of goods they offer. You can find clothing, accessories, cosmetics, make-up, home and technology and even a food hall. Unlike Primark, this shop is not that affordable. The big brands on the windows are pricey, but promise great quality. The staff members seem well trained to deal with the post lockdown situation and they manage the line of clients waiting well.
London reopens non-essential stores and further on the way we see the open doors of Next, Massimo Dutti, Pull and Bear, Swatch, Stradivarius, River Island, Moss Bros and others. Oxford Street looks almost like before. We do not see crowds, but let’s not forget that many people choose to shop online, because it is safe and easy. Londoners are still a little bit conscious regarding the spread of the virus and not everyone is willing to go out for non-essential goods.
Reopening of the shops on Regent Street
We continue our walk through Oxford Circus station, down to Regent Street. Almost every window advertises big sales and promotions. People walk around happy to be able to step inside their favourite shops and get a good deal on brands they like. On Regent Street we see brands like Kiko Milano, All Saints, H&M. Clearly marked entrance and exit signs show clients how to get in and out following the social distancing.
Open stores on Carnaby Street
One turn and we end up on another popular shopping street – Carnaby Street. Although London reopens non-essential stores, the shops here are still not open due to the early morning and it seems empty compared to Oxford Street. The pubs and restaurants, even the fast food chains you will see on the way are not operating. We expect their reopening at earliest 4 July 2020. Hopefully everything goes by plan and soon we can enjoy not only a nice shopping spree, but a lovely lunch or dinner as well. We end the walk in Piccadilly Circus, which is the end of both Carnaby and Regent Street, as they are parallel to each other.
I hope you enjoyed the first hours of the day when the shops finally opened again and we managed to capture the first people to enjoy the reopening of the capital.
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