This is a dreadful surprise:

Retailers experienced the worst fall in sales on record last month as shops were forced to shut up and down the country.

Total sales fell by 4.3pc in March, compared with 1.8pc decline for the same month last year, figures from the British Retail Council (BRC) and KPMG showed. It was the sharpest decline in the 25 years that the numbers have been collated.

Sales before and after shoppers were asked to stay at home were in stark contrast. In the first three weeks, they rose by 12pc, then plunged by 27pc in the last two weeks.

This is mostly because all non-essential retailers had to close their stores as the outbreak took hold.

Who would have thought it?

Shops which are closed sell nothing. Makes you wonder why they bother to unlock them each morning in more normal times….

22 thoughts on “This is a dreadful surprise:”

  1. Fucking lockdown HAS to end soon.

    But anybody want to bet against that fuckwit Raab sticking 3 more weeks on it–at today’s BlueLabour Committee For Ending Their Own Government meeting.

    Time to defy. Still keeping my distance but taking no other notice.

    Problem is nowhere to go. People are sitting while their businesses and jobs are wiped out.

    If they would open up I would turn up as a patron.

    Would have to be loads tho’. One at a time =Plodstrut. Lots of folks equals Plod run away as they do with the RoP and travellers. Start on one of them –they all get involved. That is the tribalism we need back again.

  2. The lockdown is not about dealing with a virus. It is about dealing with a panic. The virus will do it’s thing however nasty whatever. Lockdown may flatten the curve but this is pointless as it only prolongs the agony.
    To ease the panic publish the figures for those who have died of the disease alongside those who have died with it- together with an explanation as to what those who died with it but not of it actually got carried off by. Also figures for death from other causes to give a sense of perspective. Publish via. Social media to by-pass the hyperventilating media.
    The public are still supportive of a lockdown because they are still panicked. Also some are enjoying a sense of power and/or purpose.
    The first thing is to end the panic.

  3. @Mr Ecks: It will indeed be three more weeks. You can take it to the bank.

    Coincidentally, isn’t that the remaining time Boris has to convalesce?

  4. A friend owns a boutique. Before our fine governor helped out with his highly questionable lock down order, she locked the front door. Business online or by appt only.

    Haven’t seen her since the order, but I assume business by appointment is dead.

    She was managing her situation. Governor decided South Carolinians weren’t doing enough to save him from the stain of many CV deaths, so he exercised questionable power.

    I see the occasional idiot at Walmart who doesn’t give other people enough room. I get it. But that is the society we live in.

    Up side: I have never seen so many people in my neighborhood. Many are outside, for the first time ever. It’s like January first at the gym. Newbies getting involved. Like the gym, I assume it won’t last. When restrictions are lifted, I’ll never see them again.

  5. If you look at the Zoe app, there are large areas of the country where they estimate that under 2% of people have the virus. Surely gradual easing of restrictions in those zones is worth a trial.

    Most of the country’s larger cities like London, Birmingham, Glasgow, and Liverpool continue to have very high levels of symptoms in the community, even this far into lockdown.


    The latest figures estimate that 1.4 million people in the UK aged 20-69 have symptomatic COVID, a fall from 1.9 million on the 1st April. 

  6. JuliaM

    “Coincidentally, isn’t that the remaining time Boris has to convalesce?”

    You’ve got it.

    As with everything else nowadays, it’s all about the narrative: Boris will bounce back onto the stage, full of sunny optimism and tell us that ‘Happy days are here again…..’

  7. Recusant–3 more weeks of this and the economy will be well-bonfired and the Boris=Churchill meme will be up there in popularity with whatever is left of the Titus Oates anti-papist craze.

    If his arse does not land back in No 10 soon he might as well stay home with his feet up for good. Cos that is where he will be from then on.

  8. Bloke in North Dorset

    This is getting ridiculous. I was in favour of the social distancing and might have been persuaded of a lock down if they’d not been panicked by the MSM and gone early. By going from flatten the curve to threatening us daily to stay home they’ve really frightened the horses and are scared of even touching the subject.

    Meanwhile, out in the real world the Speccie daily news letter reports:

    In focus: Europe’s lockdown easing

    • In Denmark, children in nurseries and primary schools are back to school.
    • Italy has opened up some bookshops and small stores.
    • Austria has allowed home improvement shops to open.
    • The Czech Republic has lifted restrictions on communal sport.
    • Germany’s car factories are set to resume production early next week.

  9. The idea of treating the U.K. as a whole does seem odd, why should everyone have to wait for London to get better.
    Makes even less sense in the US, though there seems to be very little reporting of the states that didn’t follow lockdown and aren’t suffering any worse figures than those that did.
    Canada seems to be going for the we are all suffering together because of Ontario when the rates are highly different across the provinces.
    Also as for media bias, New Jersey is almost as and a hot spot as it’s neighbour New York but only one seems to make the news

  10. UK lockdown includes flying in romanians to pick fruit and veg at a time of record unemployment, couldn’t make it up if you wanted to.

  11. Blojo had everything given him on a plate. By listening to fuckwit doom-monger advisors and the SCS who hate him –he has fucked his govt and himself. And the UK and the UK’s share of the world economy. If he stays only the piss poor quality of the Commie Party might save him.

    And fucking Theo called UKIP a rabble.

  12. Ecksy

    In your deranged rages, you seem to have just two settings – conspiracy and catastrophism. Neither gets you anywhere. How is the aneurysm developing?

    Whatever you think of the government’s handling of this crisis, it is certainly disciplined – and so not a rabble, as UKIP definitely was under Diane James, Paul Nuttall, Henry Bolton and Gerard Batten.

  13. I say it’s time for the governments to get out of the lock down business. If they want to lock down their stuff, like schools, that’s fine. Time to leave everyone else alone.

    People will manage their situations. Government’s authority for lock down is tenuous. The threat of mass deaths is gone. They’ve had their fun. The cure is worse than the disease.

  14. “Disciplined”? Well as an ex-public schoolboy you might value the cane on your buttocks Theo –but the rest of us don’t give a shite for such antics.Esp not from dickheads who are “disciplined” about destroying the economy.

    Custer and the 7th cavalry were disciplined right up until disaster had them in its clutches and the battlefield detectives can trace out how it all fell apart as they tried to run for cover and self-survival. Such will be the fate of this shower of shite soon enough.

    We can already see useless banking boy Sunak has dropped the ball. Lots of free cash promises but the bureaucracy can’t cut it delivery-wise and the banks are taking the piss as usual. That such would happen was hardly a revelation to anyone with 2 brain cells. But more than the Tory hier could cope with.

  15. Bloke in North Dorset


    “ Whatever you think of the government’s handling of this crisis, it is certainly disciplined”

    It was. I thought they had played it about right until they got bounced in to the lock down , even if it was only a few days early. Since then they’ve looked rudderless and are responding to the polls and MSM telling them authoritarianism is a good thing, rather than leading from the front.

    They’ve fallen in to the political default mode of not believing we are adults who can deal with multiple messages.

    They’ve become expose as a one man band need to figure out how to operate without Boris.

  16. What the fuck are you all bitching about?

    Look, we may have shutdown the economy. We may have borrowed hundreds of billions from the future to prop up the businesses we’re destroying. And, new housing projects are in limbo. And you can’t buy some paint and brushes to redecorate the kitchen.

    But it’s all OK, for HS2 is going ahead. Not just as money-pissing policy but actual, “lockdown-to-protect-the NHS-and-Captain-Tom-doesn’t-apply-to-us, sukkaz” physical construction. The spine for the spineless country is being built, you see. All is well.

  17. @Diogenes

    Those cities also have high BME & RoP %s; Aberdeen, Belfast, Edinburgh don’t

    @Ummmm April 16, 2020 at 3:38 pm

    +! UK ordered to stay in home, let’s import workers. Canada paved way for that idiocy

    Wonder if plod will visit farms and order the immigrants to go home or stay in caravan?

  18. @Mr Ecks


    An Interview With The Coronavirus

    We need to protest

    and Break Free – Life still goes on

    and we must get out and fight Coronavirus, not hide from it

    Catch and die? If it happens, so be it. We all risk death every day, every bike, bus, car, plane, ship, swim, train, walk…

    Science: CV-19 is passed on by airborne cough/sneeze/spit droplets from infected and can survive for ~3 hours in still air

    Gov, NHS, PHE: Wash your hands every 20 minutes

  19. BiND

    “It was. I thought they had played it about right until they got bounced in to the lock down , even if it was only a few days early. Since then they’ve looked rudderless and are responding to the polls and MSM telling them authoritarianism is a good thing, rather than leading from the front.”

    I agree about that. My point to Ecksy was that the government is disciplined compared the farcical rabble that was UKIP under James/Nuttall/Bolton/Batten.

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