BBC News reports (March 16) that high streets up and down the UK are showing signs of reduced footfall.
When you strip out shoppers engaged in the hunt for paracetamol, and as the virus continues to spread, we can expect the retail crisis to deepen, perhaps to the point already reached in continental Europe.
How should we react, when the crisis eventually goes away?
If businesses are to continue trading, there needs to be a coordinated campaign to save the high street, perhaps by governments offering financial stimuli to shoppers, to buy locally, rather than online.
Commercial Property Services (CPA) believes that failure to incentivise offline shopping will not restore footfall, so deep and lasting will the damage to physical stores prove.
Perhaps the same spirit which restored shopping post-Blitz will be required, supported financially by the central government, and implemented by Chambers of Trade and Commerce.