HSBC UK head of retail and leisure James Sawley takes the temperature of retail performance and finances as a new lockdown begins.
Seven months ago, we as bankers were dealing with a flood of requests from retailers to provide liquidity and waive or reset covenants to get our clients through what was about to hit them.
We had no prior knowledge of pandemics on which to base our assumptions, no idea when stores would reopen, no idea how online would perform and we hadn’t even heard of social distancing, let alone be in a position to predict its effect on trading.
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