Posted on: 05 February 2021

COVID-19 measures in the UK

Across the UK, there are currently varying measures in place to prevent the spread of the virus. For the latest COVID-19 rules, regulations and measures, visit the government website of the country that you are based.

England: The latest guidance for businesses in England can be at the UK government website.

Northern Ireland: Northern Irish businesses can find the most up to date guidance at the Northern Irish Department of Health website.

Scotland: For the latest updates for Scottish businesses, visit the Scottish government’s website.

Wales: Business based in Wales can find the most up to date information by visiting the Welsh government website.

The following article may refer to government guidelines which were in place on the date it was published.

The retail events that have been most affected by COVID-19

Retail events in the UK are huge for the industry. Christmas, Easter, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day and Halloween all bring billions of pounds into the UK economy and help businesses of all sizes.

Like most aspects of life, the retail industry had been impacted by COVID-19, with fewer people heading out to spend money and many people are resorting to online shopping. In this article, we’re taking a look at how the biggest retail events were affected by COVID-19 in 2020.

The events affected by COVID-19

Valentine’s Day

In 2020, Valentine’s Day landed just before the COVID-19 pandemic started in the UK, but as other countries had already declared a pandemic, there was an air of concern about spending time in crowds.

However, this didn’t necessarily lead to less spending for Valentine’s Day, which went from £620m in 2019 to an approximate £855m in 2020.

To ensure a healthy income for Valentine’s Day this year, take a look at some of our ideas for helping couples celebrate Valentine’s Day whilst COVID-19 is still a threat.


By the time Easter had rolled around in 2020, the UK was in a full lockdown, with UK citizens only allowed to leave the house for essentials.

According to the Office for National Statistics, spending in April 2020 had been the largest spending decline since the records began in 1988 due to COVID-19. This was a huge hit to retail businesses, and with COVID-19 expected to disrupt business until later this year, retailers will need to have a strong Easter.

The main income for retail businesses over the Easter season will likely be food, especially chocolate, so  stock up on chocolate products, especially around Easter Day, to bring some money into your business.


During Halloween, people spend money on sweets, treats, costumes and other Halloween related products like pumpkins. In 2019, it was estimated that the UK public spent £474 million for Halloween, based on the rising trend from previous years.

By the start of Autumn 2020, the UK had been placed in the Tier system, with many areas under Tier 3 which had tight COVID-19 restrictions. The government also announced a new lockdown on 31st October, so trick or treaters were unable to go out in many areas.

Spending figures from Halloween 2020 are yet to be finalised, but with COVID-19 impacting businesses the way it did, we are expecting Halloween 2020 spend to be less than previous years.

Christmas shopping

Christmas is arguably the biggest shopping event of the year, not just in the UK, but around the world. The Christmas shopping period includes Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Boxing Day sales, where people spend their money buying presents for others.

Research from Finder showed that British people spent £26.9bn for Christmas in 2018 and that the average Brit would spend £476 on presents, leading to an average spend of £24.2bn for Christmas in 2020. This is 10% less than in 2019.

Whilst we are still waiting on official figures, we can assume that this lower spending is due to COVID-19, whether this is caused by business closures or job losses, we will have to wait and see.

Making the most of the upcoming year

Whilst 2020 was an extraordinarily poor year for many due to COVID-19, there is some hope that the future will bring more prosperity for businesses.

To help find key times of the year to help bring additional money into your business, take a look at our 2021 Retail Calendar to see some of the key dates throughout the year to help your business.

Retail insurance with Premierline

Premierline is an insurance broker specialising in business insurance for UK businesses. Our insurance advisors will assess your business’ needs to find a retail insurance policy that is perfect for your business.

We understand that no two shops are the same which is why we work with some of the UK’s most well-known insurance companies to find the right shop insurance for your business.

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2021 Retail Marketing Calendar

Business Guidance

2021 Retail Marketing Calendar

08 December 2020

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