Retailers have borne the main brunt of the riots which started off on Tottenham last Saturday night and then spread across the Capital and the rest of the country. They are facing the loss of tens of millions of pounds in both losses and costs following the mindless rioting, arson and looting, and the impact on some of the smaller businesses could prove terminal.
After three nights of rioting in the Capital, it spread like a virus to Bristol, Birmingham, Nottingham, Leeds and Liverpool on Tuesday night, leaving British retailers across the country living in fear of vandalism, looting and arson. The BRC (British Retail Consortium) has said that those retailers who came under attack face long-term problems resulting from damaged properties which will affect their reputations.
In addition to this, they have the short-term problems of lack of stock and income caused by the goods that were stolen during the looting. In Greater Manchester alone, arsonists set the Miss Selfridge store alight, while stores belonging to Diesel, Marks and Spencer, Foot Asylum came under attack by a mob of approximately 2000. Extensive damage was also caused to the Salford Shopping Centre.
In Birmingham, approximately 700-800 people, many of them children, took part in the riot that overran the Bullring, the city’s main shopping area, smashing the windows of the Pandora, Adidas and Armani stores. Earlier in the week, the Luis Vuitton store was attacked, and although windows were smashed, the looters failed to gain entrance and nothing was stolen.
Amid the chaos, some retailers are showing the rioters that they won’t be defeated, and the H&M store in Brixton and Wood Green reopened after being looted on Monday night.