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When do non-essential shops open? Key dates for clothes and charity stores

Joanna Whitehead
Ready to flex your plastic? (Getty Images)
Ready to flex your plastic? (Getty Images)

Non-essential retail has opened on Monday as part of the second phase of lockdown easing.

This is alongside the phased reopening of outdoor hospitality (pubs and restaurants), indoor leisure facilities (gyms) and personal care premises like hairdressers and nail salons.

The prime minister announced the plans in February for the reopening of non-essential shops and businesses, which have been closed since 6 January in the third national lockdown.

Here’s everything you need to know.

What counts as an ‘essential shop’?

Getty Images/iStockphoto
Getty Images/iStockphoto

Food shops, supermarkets, off-licences, corner shops, petrol stations, pharmacies, mobility and disability support shops, builder’s merchants, bicycle shops and bike and car repair services were all allowed to remain open during the lockdown.

Garden centres and agricultural supply shops are also categorised as essential retailers.

When will non-essential shops reopen?

Non-essential shops include everything from clothing, books, department stores and technology stores.

Mr Johnson said that from 12 April, under step two of lockdown easing, non-essential retail will reopen.

This is along with hairdressers and nail salons.

How have non-essential shops been impacted by the lockdown?

The pandemic has, understandably, witnessed a major pivot to online shopping, with ASOS reporting a spike in pre-tax profits of 329 per cent.

For many bricks-and-mortar retailers, the pandemic has been the final blow, however.

Household names including the Arcadia group (which includes Topshop, Miss Selfridge and Dorothy Perkins), Jaeger, Aldo, JM Lewin and Mothercare all went into administration during the pandemic.

Small and independent retailers have also been among the hardest-hit businesses during the pandemic.

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