One in five hospitality, retail owners expect to lose more than half of revenue due to ‘Freedom Day’ delay

Over 17,000 hospitality and retail businesses expect to close for good.

One in five hospitality and retail owners across the UK expect to lose half of their revenue following the government’s decision to delay the reopening roadmap by one month, according to a survey by data and polling company Stack Data Strategy.

The survey, which polled 200 business owners in the said sectors between June 15 and 20 and was carried out on behalf of student work app Stint, also reveals that over 17,000 owners say they will have to call last orders on their business as a result of the decision.

The delay of the so-called ‘freedom day’ is said to severely impact companies for months to come, with a vast majority of those who expect to lose revenue saying it would take more than six months to recoup the earnings lost during the four week delay.

27% of those business owners went on to say they will never recoup these losses. 

Stint’s own research found that 20% of business owners will not even be able to operate at full capacity upon reopening due to staff shortages. Around 15% of owners also believe that at least a quarter of their furloughed workers are unlikely to return.

As the government reviews evidence to inform the lifting of social distancing earlier than 19 July, trade body UKHospitality has called to factor in “mounting costs” in the sector.

“A delay of four weeks - after 15 months of restricted or no trading - feels like a lifetime for struggling hospitality businesses, as costs continue to mount. During what should be a peak trading period, we remain severely restricted, or, in some cases, forcibly closed. The knock-on impact will be felt throughout the summer,” UKHospitality CEO Kate Nicholls said in a statement.

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