Under house arrest – week 6

So, here’s an update in follow up to my missive a few weeks ago:

Nearly 6 weeks under the belt and it looks like we have at least another couple of weeks to go – are you crawling up the walls yet? Are you still on speaking terms with your other half? Are the kids pining to return to school?

Over recent weeks, I have spoken with a fair few of you over the phone and, although all our circumstances are different, it seems that most of us have created a new daily routine that includes spending more time with family and spending time most days on our personal fitness levels.

It is no different in Jonckers Towers, although all I can do is stay in touch with people as all our search assignments are on hold, awaiting instructions once ‘the coast is clear’. So I guess our garden has received a bit more attention than most and I’m running out of DIY projects…

Overall, in a strange sort of way, I have enjoyed the slowdown, having time to reflect on what actually matters in life and enjoying the small things – a daily sunrise or sunset walk in the fields, a 22yr old daughter who likes baking, cycle rides without encountering traffic, a heightened community spirit and catching up with work acquaintances (both clients and candidates) without the pressure of ‘a deal to be done’.

And of course it has been a time to be thankful for what we have. I don’t envy those confined to an apartment with no outside space and small children to entertain. I am blessed that all of my family have been lucky enough to escape any effects of the Covid virus (so far!). We have food to eat and wine to drink, so things could definitely be worse. There is of course some financial uncertainty, but I’m sure that will work itself out.

After the lock down

I have been debating with some of you about how the retail sector returns after the lock down. Should stores be opened with a big fanfare, celebrating (re-)opening events, all shop staff keyed up to give the very best customer experience? Or should it be a low-key affair in a ‘business as usual’ sort of way?

I have just read the outcome of a survey by Jefferies, the investment bank, of 5,500 people across 11 countries (so not a huge sample of the population). Of the British segment only 20% thought they’d be shopping in the High Street as soon as quarantine restrictions end. Only just over half expected to be back shopping two weeks after lockdown. That said, 33% of people expected to be back in bars and restaurants, as soon as they’d be allowed. Interesting priorities…

Of course time will tell, however at this precise moment we do not know how financial and economic uncertainty, as well as a different perspective on consumerism and sustainability, has changed consumer behaviour.

So bearing in mind that unknown, what is your business planning to do and what is the communication strategy with both existing and potential new customers? I’d be very keen to hear from you as I cannot possibly do more gardening!

Wishing you all well. May you stay safe, healthy and sane!