Winchester High Street has seen numerous closures during the pandemic due to non-essential shops being shut down since the 5th November.
With people more reluctant to do their Christmas shopping in shops this year, businesses within the city are fearing closure as people begin to turn to online shopping. In a survery carried out by OnePoll, of those Christmas shoppers who said they were planning ahead, 47% said spreading the cost was a factor, and more than half said they plan to spend less on gifts this year.
Due to people not working over lockdown, many families are simply not spending as much this Christmas meaning shops will struggle with business.
Forte Kitchen announced on Tuesday that it would be closing for the foreseeable future. A notice on their window reads: “We have taken this decision with heavy hearts but with social responsibility at the forefront of our minds. This is naturally devastating for our teams and their families.”
Winchester has already seen the closure of Whittards, Laura Ashely and Edinburgh Woollen Mill – all popular shops that struggled during Covid.
Despite the troubles faced by many shops, one employee from Accessorize in Winchester Elisha O’Reilly said: “I have never felt more secure in a real job, the company really came together to ensure we survived and that there was a job to come back to.”
“Management worked hard to make sure there were resources in place to maintain our mental health and that we knew of new information on the survival of our workplace as soon as they did.”