Rethinking retail - The Agenda full episode

The pandemic has been a disaster for many retailers across Europe, with shops forced to shut during nationwide lockdowns and then having to spend money on implementing drastic safety measures prior to reopening their doors.

The impact across the industry has been seismic. Sales have plummeted, which has put many shops in the red and out of business, while hundreds of thousands of jobs have been lost.

With public confidence still low and unemployment rising, the retail sector is likely to suffer for at least the foreseeable future and many more shops are expected to be forced to shut down in the months ahead. 


On The Agenda with Stephen Cole this week, we examine whether the world's high streets can recover from the COVID-19 lockdown.

Is this the end of the bricks-and-mortar shop? Joining Stephen from Nice, France is brand expert Mark Pilkington, who admits the retail industry should have shifted online a long time ago.

And what about the customer? Has the shopping experience changed forever? Stephen speaks to Joe McDonnell, the head of insight for trend forecasting firm WGSN, who explains just how consumers' habits have changed during lockdown.

Plus fashion Journalist Dana Thomas tells Stephen why high-end retailers are no longer immune to financial crises.