Following weeks of uncertainty and unprecedented changes to business and life which has forced many retailers to temporarily shut their showrooms, Style Mobility’s Dominic Goldsmith has urged retail leaders to look beyond the immediate doom and gloom and remain positive.

Since the outbreak of the latest strain of coronavirus in the UK, the government has quickly ramped up measures to flatten the curve amid rapid growth in confirmed cases and fatalities.

With COVID-19 being particularly dangerous to the elderly and those with underlying health conditions, the mobility retail sector has been hit disproportionately hard since the spread of the virus as consumers cut down their social interactions.

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Style Mobility - Dominic GoldsmithSpeaking with Dominic Goldsmith, co-director of Great Yarmouth-based Style Mobility, he explained the actions that his company has taken in response to coronavirus crisis.

“Our customers are the most vulnerable people in the country so, like most other mobility companies, we have tied up loose ends and we have shut down,” he explained.

“This is absolutely the only way to ensure the safety of our customers, our staff, ourselves and our families. Staying at home and being responsible is the only way to prevent further spread of this awful virus.”

It is similar for many retailers in the sector, choosing to temporarily close their showrooms in response to the sharp drop in footfall, with others only operating internet & telephone sales and appointment-only shop visits.

For many retailers in the sector, the timing of the outbreak could not be worse, landing just before the busier spring and summer months, however, Dominic shared a different perspective.

“At first, this seems like the worst thing in the world for us, especially coming into peak season but that may not necessarily be the case!” pointed out the retail leader.

“The whole world is at a standstill, not just us! Your landlord or mortgage provider will have to wait, as will your creditors… either that or have nothing at all! They will get their money, just late!

He added: “As we know, the government are covering the majority of our wage bills along with other grants whilst landlords and mortgage companies will wait.”

Suggesting that the mobility retail sector may rebound quickly, Dominic highlighted that as COVID-19 restrictions are loosened, key customers who have been forced to self-isolate will be eager to pursue more active pursuits and will look to mobility retailers for aids and solutions.

“Most of our customers are either on benefits or pensions that won’t be stopping and they can’t go anywhere to spend this money so it will accumulate, meaning they will have more to spend this season than ever before!” he emphasised.

“When this passes, a massive influx of end-users that have been confined to their homes for weeks and will be ready to make the most of the remainder of the good weather (however long that may be!).”

Finishing, Dominic encouraged other retailers to get in touch with THIIS to discuss their thoughts and feelings on this topic and urged the trade to look to the positives.

“We will recover and we will all be ok!” he ended.


To share your thoughts, questions or concerns regarding COVID-19 and the mobility trade with industry peers, contact calvin@thiis.co.uk

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