Australian retailers with stores in the United Kingdom are being affected by the nation’s new COVID-19 lockdown, with fast-fashion jewellery chain Lovisa this week temporarily closing its 42 UK stores.
The UK entered into a new national lockdown on Tuesday in a bid to curtail a new, fast-spreading strain of coronavirus, with most people now required to work from home and non-essential businesses closed.
Figures released by the UK Office of National Statistics this week estimated more than 1 million people in England now have COVID-19, with more than 60,000 new cases recorded on Tuesday.
In a statement to the Australian Securities Exchange on Tuesday, Lovisa said all of its other stores, including its 152 outlets in Australia, are continuing to trade, as is its online business.
“As a result of the announcement by the UK government of a further lockdown in response to increasing COVID-19 cases, our 42 UK stores will be subject to temporary closure effective immediately, with the timing for re-opening subject to further government advice,” the company said.
Forty of Lovisa’s UK stores had previously closed in early-November 2020 in response to COVID-19 restrictions in the region, as had 24 of the retailer’s stores in France.
Those closures coincided with Lovisa’s Melbourne stores reopening after the city’s strict lockdown period.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has indicated the UK’s strict lockdown could be eased in mid-February, however, he says that plan is subject to “lots of caveats, lots of ifs”.