High street shopping was a profitable enterprise before the lockdown. People used to go out every weekend, and spend money in shops that would allow big businesses to thrive. However, that changed in a big way when the pandemic hit.
Suddenly, every high street and shop had restrictions. The number of people allowed into the shop at any one point was limited. The distance between people had to be 2 metres. It was a series of sanctions that the high street could have coped with, until a full lockdown happened.
The Shift to Online
The big change that came about because of the pandemic, and something which was only amplified by the lockdown, was the shift to online shopping.
Suddenly every business had an online delivery system, and a way for customers to continue to get their favourite items without having to go outside. This is all well, and good, of course. The big corporations and businesses keep their customer base. They continue to turn a profit. But the high street stores are sitting there, unused. Staff aren’t making a wage because they’re not working, and it means that the buildings are functionally useless.
A Barely Functional Property Market
Further complicating the issues for the high street is that the property market isn’t doing too well at the moment. These unused premises and lots would be perfect for letting – except no one’s available to let. There’s not a market because everyone’s in the same boat. The property market has taken a massive beating over the last year or so because it’s solely dependent on people buying and selling. With restrictions and financial issues commonplace, this just isn’t happening.
Another big issue at the moment is that of unemployment. You might think that the government can pay the wages of everyone but that’s not true. There are going to be businesses which folded at the start of the pandemic or during it – companies who now can’t afford to keep their workers.
So unemployment will be rising and this will have a knock-on effect on the market. Businesses won’t be able to pay workers, who won’t have the money they need to make significant contributions to any area, which means that the overall survivability of the high street plummets. There are no workers, no shops, and an online shift which might save the company, but at the expense of a valuable high street presence when the pandemic is over.
Functionally, the longer that we remain in the pandemic, the more the high street suffers and the further past the point of recovery it gets. You have to appreciate that things aren’t getting better, in fact they’re getting worse in a lot of areas. Without the easing of restrictions, or a much-needed injection of cash, the high street we all know, love and remember may well be a relic of the past. The pandemic has taken so much from us already, but we might lose the heart of retail if we’re not careful. But, it is not all doom and gloom. Despite the overall stagnation and decline of the property market, Buy my Property For Cash is still buying up buildings and properties. Get in touch with us for a no obligation appraisal, so you can best figure out what your options are on the market.