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Coronavirus impacts UK retail

UK retail is reeling from the affects of Chinese Coronavirus. Delays in product deliveries will impact high streets already reeling from a dismal Christmas. Until January 23, sales forecasts for 2020 were looking good. But with some Chinese cities now on full or partial lockdown, and a spike in new cases, shopping malls are deserted, workers are at home, and the luxury goods industry is seriously worried.

UK companies are closing their offices in China. Whether Chinese consumers come over to the UK to shop and spend, or whether they go up there into their own cities to shop for UK brands, it's going to cause a problem, because there's just no product and there's nobody there to retail the product. If products haven't been on the seas a few weeks ago, there is going to be a delay of up to two or three months, and if that happens, the question is whether customers are going to want it at that stage. Though high end goods like Burberry and John Smedley are still manufactured in the UK, mid-range quality like M&S is being outsourced to China.

UK retailers are now facing delays to their spring fashion collections of at least four to six weeks. At London Fashion Week 2020, Chinese buyers were missing.


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