Odd-job chain Timpson is preparing to phase itself back into operation, starting with a few outlets that exist within supermarkets as they're considered allowable and essential. But it warns that many businesses won't return to operation at all post-lockdown, as the coronavirus shutdown may push some struggling high street names over the brink.
This comes from the big boss Sir John Timpson, who says staff in face masks behind Perspex screens will greet brave first-wave shoppers returning to their mundane key-cutting, shoe-repairing, battery-replacing lives. He's not expecting much of a rush at first or even at all, mind, as he warned that: "There are going to be some names that don't come back. And it's going to provide an opportunity, particularly for local authorities, to really think further ahead about what their high streets should be like."
As in, do we want more even coffee shops and charity shops and a Greggs operating out of every other doorway, or should we start converting chunks of the high street into homes, now that, more than ever, we're becoming reliant on internet shopping and the idea of queueing for anything, ever again, is bordering on the unthinkable. [BBC]