HCM Issue 9 2021

Page 56

OPINION

At Frame in London, sales have been on the increase since summer

Everyone’s talking about

Studio bounceback In the last issue of HCM, we checked with big box operators in the UK to see how trading has been going since restrictions were lifted. This month we turn our attention to boutiques and urban studios to find out how they’re faring. Kath Hudson reports

L

ondon has been quiet since the pandemic hit – some days in September 2021 it was estimated office occupancy was as low as 11 per cent. This lack of footfall has had an impact on attendance at studios – as well as bars, restaurants, takeaways

56

Issue 9 2021 ©Cybertrek 2021

and theatres. The summer holidays exacerbated the problem, with many London workers choosing to decamp and work elsewhere. However, now we’re into Q4, holidays are over and people are returning to their offices. The first Monday of September was the busiest morning rush hour since

the pandemic hit. Tube traffic before 9am jumped by 19 per cent compared to the previous week and bus travel by 43 per cent. Hopefully this is a sign we’re moving back towards the old normal. So how are urban and city-based operators faring through this difficult time? We ask our panel.