We are only at the start of the Coronavirus pandemic, and we are already starting to see that the way in which the UK works is changed forever. Even when the country comes out of lockdown, the Britain that we knew in 2019 has gone. It isn’t coming back.
The Death of the British High Street
The British High Street has faced a lot of challenges over the years. Independent shops have seemingly gone the way of the dodo in many smaller towns. The properties that aren’t boarded up seem to have been filled up with those major brands. Pretty much every High Street looks the same in this country now.
In March, retail sales plummeted. With a 4.3% drop on last year, this is the biggest single month decline since 1995. This was at the start of the lockdown. A time when most people still had jobs and had the ability to splash a little bit of cash. May and June figures are going to look different from this.
Retail is going to change. Companies you loved and cared for are going to go out of business. Companies simply do not have the funds available to sustain themselves throughout an extended lockdown. Even the largest companies may only have cash reserves to cover them for a few months, as major retailers such as Debenhams discovered.
The only companies that will be able to thrive are those who sell online. Amazon, as you may be aware, is a ‘big winner’ right now.
The Loss of Investment
Brexit resulted in a significant loss in investors in the UK. In fact, for January to March, the UK handed out fewer investor visas than it has in 4-years. This was before the lockdown. People are going to be even more anxious to invest in the country post-lockdown.
Economic experts are predicting one of the harshest depressions the country has ever seen. With no vaccine for the virus coming any time soon, the economy isn’t really going to get the opportunity to recover for a good while. This means that investors are going to be dubious about putting their cash anywhere.
The result is a lower amount of investment in housing. We will not be able to see new companies replace the ones that have disappeared. The stock market will plummet, which can cause untold job losses. Companies will be reluctant to expand and may end up scaling back their business operations.
Continual investment helps make a country tick. Even if you are not an investor, you will still benefit from those investments. Your town or city would have seen a boost in income from these investments. Your job may become unstable due to lack of investment.
Remember; it isn’t just external investors that we need to worry about here. Companies are now starting to realise that their business could disappear overnight. As a result, a lot of them are trying to build up their cash reserves to ensure that they are ready to deal with a second wave. It is their staff that suffer from this hoarding of cash. Of course, it will also have a knock-on effect on the manufacturers and wholesalers who may not longer be required to send as much product to the stores and businesses that they deal with.
This lack of investment will impact the UK for a long time to come. Couple this with Brexit, and it is going to be a long time before we see a light at the end of that tunnel.
One change that you are likely to see impact you in the immediate future will be your recreation. People need some ways in which they can entertain themselves. Sure, soon we will likely be able to go outside and mingle with our friends, but we still won’t be able to get close to them. We need to socially distance themselves.
We are starting to see a rise in the number of people who are using the internet to entertain themselves. Game companies have seen a massive increase in the number of players and games they are selling. According to casinofans.co.uk, casino sites are seeing a massive boost to the number of people who are playing online, particularly when it comes to live dealer casinos.
We are likely going to see changes in the way people entertain themselves. Massive changes. The Great British pastime of heading to the racetrack or catching a football match are out of the question.
We, honestly, have no way to know exactly how recreational activities will change. Just know that for the foreseeable future, you are not going to be able to socialise in the ways you were used to.