Great British Retail offers hope in uncertain times

Uncertain times

It’s far too early to say how retail will look post-Covid19. One thing is clear: life, as we knew, will never be the same again. Aside from the heavy personal and social cost that has been inflicted on us all by the virus, it is likely to deliver fatal blows to already stressed retail brands.

Several big UK retail names have already succumbed. From Oasis and Warehouse to Laura Ashley, Debenhams and Cath Kidston. Even good businesses, which in normal times would not be considered at risk, may not be immune. Everyone in the industry knows that difficult times still lie ahead. However you look at it, this will not simply be a case of reopening stores and returning to ‘business as usual’.

Yet as grocery retailers have demonstrated in recent weeks, those who work in retail will do whatever it takes. Even if the challenges appear, at first glance, insurmountable. Life must go on.


For without hope there is nothing.

As in life, if we fall we must get back on our feet. Even if our first steps forward may be more tentative than before. This simple, innate approach is instinctive and intuitive. It is hardwired into the DNA of business life too. Where there is pain, there can also be hope and action to get to a better place. Though it may look very different to the one that we’ve come to know and recognise.

Starting this week, across our social media channels (Shoptactics), we will bring you a reminder of why UK retail should look to the challenges ahead with a sense of hope. For without hope there is nothing.

A solid act of support from Visual Thinking to our wider industry clients, partners and friends, Great British Retail characterises our distinctive ‘national’ personality and represents the essence of British life. Brands that have seen the good times and bad, and have steadfastly moved forwards to emerge better and stronger.


We truly are a ‘Nation of shopkeepers’.

Whilst there are a host of equally great and worthy international retailers who we could have included in our series, the time felt right to shine a spotlight on retailers that have developed their much-loved brands to be as much a part of British life, as they are strong commercial entities.

Brands that have been recognised as trailblazers within the industry.
Brands that have pioneered new retail formats and outstanding store presentation.
Brands that have built a reputation for creativity and innovation.
Brands that focus on attentive customer service and deliver engaging experiences.
Brands that have developed high performing teams and a culture of retail excellence.
Brands that have built a loyal home audience and a devoted international following.
Brands that are respected as highly productive exporters of ideas and expertise.
Brands that make a big contribution to British society and financial contribution to UK PLC.

We truly are a ‘Nation of shopkeepers’. Whether big business or family indie: Britain needs you all. Visual Thinking is proud to stand by you, shoulder-to-shoulder, as we have done time and again for more than 25 years. And we’re only too happy to show the world what you do best.

Great British Retail Gallery | Part One.

Great British Retail Gallery | Part Two.

Great British Retail Gallery | Part Three.

By Karl McKeever

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