east Dunbartonshire

Its beginning to look a lot like…something?

This time in December last year, streets were full of people lining up outside shops to get the ideal gift for their loved one. Christmas cheer was in the air, shops were full of customers, and Christmas parties were being organized everywhere. Today these streets are empty, and instead of fighting over the ideal gift, customers fill their baskets with toilet roll.

The Covid-19 pandemic has changed the lives of everyone around us, but it appears that the pandemic has now taken the holiday hostage. Christmas shoppers are now too scared to go outside to shop, instead choosing the online option, Amazon and other online retailers being forced to adopt the role of Santa Clause in this Pandemic.

Instead of venturing out into the shops, merry-makers have elected to order in their Christmas shopping, some have found this to be a struggling task.

We spoke to east Dunbartonshire resident, William Blair, who said, “it’s just a very different situation these days, I’d usually wander round the shops, see what I can get for my daughters and get inspiration by actually seeing what’s on the shelves.”  

“I don’t love having to use online shopping for my family’s gifts, it’s been hard trying to pick out what to get”

Clearly the pandemic has changed loads for the merry-makers. Customers choosing the secure option of ordering online, while safe, has put small businesses at risk.  The so-called ‘Death of the high street’ appears to have become a reality, as it seems that the Coronavirus pandemic has become the last nail in the coffin for small businesses. 

The high street has become a ghost town as people have been forced to stay at home in order to avoid catching the virus. Small Business owners have been feeling the struggles of the pandemic and have been forced to become creative in order to survive the Christmas period.  

Malik Bada, owner of Malik’s Barbers in Glasgow has said that Christmas usually brings a large profit to the shop, as people pretty themselves up for seeing their families. A privilege that has brought a lot of risk these days.

“during the big lockdown in march, I got loads of phone calls from customers asking if I can go into their gardens and cut their hair outside…no work means no money, if it wasn’t for the restrictions or the harm I could’ve done to my family, I would done it”

Malik’s Barbers, like many other businesses in Glasgow, will face a huge loss in profits this Christmas. Businesses with no previous social media presence have had to adapt, using platforms such as Twitter and Facebook to sell their products. Sites such as Small99 have been freely helping small businesses and making it easier for customers to help support the high street. While unavailable for comment, Adam Bastock who runs the site, developed the website for convenience and not to make a profit.

Evann Clelland

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