UK Store Closures Hit Record Levels

The silver lining for local small businesses is that people are turning to their local high streets as they work from home Lockdown pushed store closures to record levels during the first half of the year, according to newly published figures, but the number of new stores being opened held steady. Overall, the number of stores dropped by 6,000 in the first half of 2020, compared with 3,500 the year before, according to an Oct. 18 analysis by PwC. With sales bouncing back to pre-pandemic levels over the summer, however, PwC says it would be unwise to write off the high street just yet. “High street retail and leisure may be on the edge of a precipice,” stated the PwC report, which highlighted fewer openings, more closures, and permanent changes to the make-up of shopping and leisure destinations. “But while there may be worse to come, consumers still want to spend, so there’s every chance for businesses that evolve now to come out leaner, smarter and stronger.” The pivot to home-working also favours smaller local businesses, as people turn to their local high streets over out of town retail outlets and major city centre shops. Despite the spread of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus and the ensuing lockdown measures, 5,119 stores were opened between January and June—just over a hundred more than for the same period last year. A man walks across a quiet Oxford Circus in London on March 20, 2020. (Leon Neal/Getty Images) In contrast, 11,120 stores closed in the first half of the year, compared with 8,517 in 2019. PwC warned that even the record closures may not reveal the true picture and is predicting further closures to come, both in the high street and other sectors. “Based on primary research, our survey doesn’t count ‘temporarily closed’ sites as closed, so we’re not quite seeing the full picture yet,” the report states. “And the bounce-back in retail hasn’t been replicated across leisure and hospitality, which have been hampered by both national and local operating restrictions, as well as consumer reticence and other industry-specific factors, such as the lack of a film slate affecting cinema audiences.” There may be a silver lining for smaller, more specialist local shops, according to PwC. “The practicalities of lockdown and the increase in working from home mean that independent shops tend to be located where consumers increasingly are,” Lisa Hooker, consumer markets leader at PwC, said in a statement. Hooker said that despite the stark figures, there’s still a future for physical stores. She says this is shown by “the continued roll out of value retailers, the boom in takeaways and pizza delivery shops and demand for services that can still only be delivered locally such as tradesmen outlets, building products or locksmiths”. “We all still want and need to physically visit shops and leisure operators, it’s likely then that whatever happens retail will come out of this smaller but stronger,” she added.

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World record waterspout outbreak over the Great Lakes

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Linkedin ReddIt WhatsApp World record waterspout outbreak over the Great Lakes. Picture via Twitter According to the International Centre for Waterspout Research, the highest number of waterspouts/funnels ever recorded took place recently over the Great Lakes during a seven-day period. The ICWR says “we have confirmed an unbelievable 232 waterspouts / funnels during this period. This breaks the old record of 88 spouts that took place from August 16-18, 2020.” The outbreak took place from Sept. 28 to Oct. 4. According to the ICWR the events were reported over every Great Lake with the majority over Lake Erie. The ICWR says there are a number of reasons for the historic event including, “a continual flow of arctic air over the relatively warm waters of the Great Lakes (meteorologists call this, “A pipeline to the Arctic”) causing instability and ideal conditions for waterspout development.” There was also a one day record of 82 waterspouts on October 1, 2020, says the ICWR. The ICWR posted the details about this amazing waterspout world record on Twitter and Facebook and Kitcheners. More on Strange Sounds and Steve Quayle. Now if you are looking for supplements to increase your healthy lifestyle please visit Natural Health Source. Follow us: Facebook and Twitter. By the way you can also support us on Paypal. Please and thank you! Facebook Twitter Pinterest Linkedin ReddIt WhatsApp Previous articleA huge solar flare burst from the Sun and just missed Earth… Now look at the video and feel how lucky we are Follow Strange Sounds to discover amazing, weird and unexpected phenomena around the world. Be curious!

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5 of the 6 largest wildfires in California history are burning right now and have already killed over 1,000 with their smoke

5 of the 6 largest wildfires in California history are burning right now. Picture: KYLE GRILLOT/AFP Five of the six largest wildfires in California state history have been sparked in the past two months — and they’re all still raging.The state’s most aggressive fire, August Complex, has so far scorched nearly 860,000 acres of NorCal’s Tehama County — nearly doubling the now second-largest Mendocino Complex in 2018. Rounding out the all-time top six are four other blazes still currently burning. [embedded content] The SCU Lightning Complex has now consumed 396,624 acres near Santa Clara and Alameda counties, while the LNU Lightning Complex has decimated 363,220 acres around Sonoma and Napa counties. Meanwhile, the North Complex has claimed 301,404 acres of Butte, Plumas and Yuma counties, while the Creek Fire — the youngest of the blazes, having started earlier this month — has eaten away 289,695 acres of Fresno and Madera counties.And the destruction is only expected to grow. [embedded content] While the SCU and LNU Lightning complexes were each considered 98% contained as of Sunday and Tuesday, firefighters are still battling to get the other fires under control. The North Complex was deemed 75% contained as of early Wednesday while the Creek Fire was considered 32% contained. The enormous August Complex blaze was still only 39% contained as of Wednesday morning. The top six doesn’t even include the Bobcat Fire, which earlier this week passed 100,000 acres to become one of the largest wildfires in the history of Los Angeles County. The Bobcat FireCumulatively, at least 26 people have been killed and thousands of structures leveled in what’s been a historic California wildfire season. These are hidden deaths The dense wildfire smoke that blanketed the state for weeks in August and early September — contributing to dangerous air quality from the San Francisco Bay area to Sacramento to Fresno and beyond — may have contributed to the deaths of hundreds of Californians and sent thousands more to the emergency room, Stanford University researchers say. Yes! The total cost in terms of human lives and health is likely far larger due to the immense amount of smoke that has been inhaled over the last 3 weeks by the very large number of people living on the West Coast. [embedded content] About 6 million Californians are age 65 or older. Using Medicare data, the researchers say dense concentrations of smoke between the beginning of August and early September contributed to some 1,200 deaths that would not otherwise have happened and 4,800 additional visits to hospitals’ emergency rooms. “These are hidden deaths. These are people who were probably already sick but for whom air pollution made them even sicker,” explains the San Jose Mercury News. More California wildfire news on SacBee, NY Post, Strange Sounds and Steve Quayle. Follow us: Facebook and Twitter. By the way you can also support us on Paypal. Please and thank you!

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