Shoppers fill London’s high streets on first Saturday since lockdown lifted

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  • December 5, 2020
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housands of people hit London‘s high streets on the first Saturday since the second national lockdown was lifted.

Queues formed along London’s Oxford Street as shoppers made the most of the relaxed Covid-19 restrictions under the new tiering system, which came into force on Wednesday.

Joining them was London Mayor Sadiq Khan, who took the time to take selfies with people at the popular shopping destination.

He said: “It’s quite clear speaking to shopkeepers, businesses and those in retail, they’ve had a horrendous nine months, they’re keen to make sure this golden month and this golden quarter they can make up some of the ground lost.

“They’ve seen the collapse of international tourism, the collapse of domestic tourism, and that’s why they really need our support.

“Unless we support our shops we can’t be surprised if, due to a combination of Covid and lack of business, shops close and people lose their jobs.”

Hordes of people could also be seen filling up England’s town centres in places such as York, Colchester and Bournemouth – as families scouted for deals during their Christmas shop.

It comes after a week of high street woes as 26,500 jobs were put at risk at retailers including Sir Philip Green’s Arcadia Group and Debenhams – which have been severely impacted by the pandemic.

The streets were packed 

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The streets were packed 

/ REUTERS )

Now in its eighth year in the UK, a record 17.6 million people supported small independent businesses on last year’s Small Business Saturday, spending an estimated £800 million.

Michelle Ovens, director of Small Business Britain, said: “We are optimistic that this has been one of the biggest days for a long time for small businesses.

“The rising groundswell of awareness and affection we’re seeing for small firms from the public too is also a positive indicator – research we did with American Express shows that almost two thirds of people now support them more due to the pandemic.

“Shopping local is especially important as many small firms are facing a compressed Christmas trading period.

“These small firms are at the heart of communities and local economies, so all of our individual actions can add up and have a massive impact.”