The presence of snow in parts of the country was a nasty surprise as retailers and leisure operators opened their doors for the first time in months. They will be hoping the white stuff doesn’t settle and that sunshine quickly brightens the public’s mood.
“Reports on social media would suggest that hairdressers and barbers needn’t worry as demand is sky-high. A lot of pubs have also seen strong bookings, which means all eyes are on the retail sector to see if people are happy to get back in the shops or whether they’ve become addicted to the online channel,” says Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell.
“The jury is still out judging by Monday’s early share price reactions. Primark owner Associated British Foods slipped 1.7%, Games Workshop fell 2%, WH Smith was down 1.8% and JD Sports retreated 1.4%, the latter despite big queues at its flagship store in London’s Oxford Street before its doors opened.
“While it is possible that we’ll see plenty of people venturing into the shops today, particularly as it provides an excuse to finally get out of the house, retailers need strong footfall to be sustained for more than just a few days otherwise they face more difficult times ahead. It seems inevitable that we haven’t seen the last of the retail sector casualties.”