For help, advice and discussion about stuff not related to aviation. Play nice: no religion, no politics and no axe grinding please.
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RBS just told 50,000 staff to work from home until next year. That's the discretionary spend of 50,000 well paid people taken out of the economy. I'm told that Canary Wharf office attendance is around 5% and that the City is 10%.

Our city centre is as dead as a doornail how does your town centre look at the moment?

Are compulsory masks really going to encourage people back to work? Were about to find out.
I don't think it's taken out of the economy entirely but reduced and moved around and changed in terms of mix.

The town centre of Cirencester is now increasingly busy, but with queueing and separation throughput must be down a bit still I think.

Face coverings are appearing but I'll be interested to see if the 100% is reached in shops after the weekend.

There is an assumption that if a job can be done from home as easily from an office then homeworking is OK, however research done by F International (later Xansa) in the 1970s showed that not everybody is an efficient homeworker, some people simply aren't psychologically suitable, so there's some way to go before new working patterns settle down I suspect.
johnm wrote: The town centre of Cirencester is now increasingly busy, but with queueing and separation throughput must be down a bit still I think.

Then I can help you keep a track on it. Cirencester centre 2018 sitrep ... -check.pdf
Here's the important bit that we can view through the retrospectoscope next year.
In 2018, the town centre had 349 units and 51,185sq.m of floorspace. There has been year-on-year growth since 2012, which in combination totals a net increase of 23 units and over 1,600sq.m of floorspace. Despite the town centre’s proportion of convenience goods units (6% of the total number of units) being below the national average of 9%, there is a good range of convenience goods on offer, including several speciality shops and supermarkets. Conversely, the proportion of comparison goods units (41% of units) is significantly higher than the national average of 31%. The comparison goods offer includes a large proportion of high-end, niche shops, particularly those selling ladies wear and accessories; furniture; and crafts, gifts, china & glass

Let's hope compulsory masks do the trick for your local town, but I doubt that it will do much if anything for the discretionary spend on comparison goods that Cirencester has an unusually high reliance on. Cotswold ladies don't need so many posh frocks to stay indoors and they "look positively awful with a mask darling... shall we just have a BBQ this weekend instead of sitting in that soulless restaurant". We're going to find out - I hope I am wrong.

Edit: I forgot to include:
Cirencester’s vacancy rate has increased from 5% in 2012 to 8% in 2018, including more vacant units in prime locations than in previous years and further vacancies expected in the near future. However, the present vacancy rate remains below the national average of 11%. The increase is largely due to the managed decline of units to the north of the Brewery car park, which are set to make way for a mixed use development, including a cinema.

Keep an eye on those numbers and if the new development happens at all.
Thanks for that @eltonioni quite interesting and some of it we've seen in the local paper from time to time.

The cinema and related development remains highly controversial and may well not happen, but that's old news.

We have seen the demise of national chains in the town centre, notably House of Fraser, and no-one has interest in taking that up, which is also old news. The local specialists and the market remain very popular and seem to be adapting thus far. MrsJohnm's favourite clothes shop has re-opened on an appointment basis as her clientele are "regulars " in the main rather than "passing trade" she may do OK, let's hope so.

It's been striking that many local businesses have been operating throughout on a modified basis, restaurants doing take away and selling produce for example, a fair bit of creativity in the interests of survival and many of us have tried hard to support them. The national chains closed and may never re-open at the same level as people discovered local alternatives. E.g. Boots closed and the local pharmacy prospered.

Many of us are now out and about some using face-coverings some not so it'll be interesting to see what transpires next week.

The 3 of us will be patronising another local pub for supper tonight and the weather looks like it might be the garden rather than the restaurant :-)
From customer experience, if you call an an ambulance then you will be given a temp mask before the doors are closed, exception being if you swap for pain relief, at which point you get your own detachable plastic breathing mask which you take with you into the hospital alongside a disposable mask.

In the hospital all patients are masked. You get a COVID test prior to surgery and stay masked other than to swap for a breathing one or to eat and drink.


In retail environments we’ve been shopping at the door or wearing masks if indoors. The worrying part is if you are wearing a mask to protect others and somebody on the next aisle has a cough and you know they don’t have a mask on.
JAFO wrote:
......That's the problem, if you don't make it mandatory the British public will largely choose to ignore it...... .

I went shopping in the local large Tesco yesterday, the first time since face coverings became mandatory. The store was busy, but not quite heaving, Tesco had been operating a one-way system through the aisles, that has now stopped.

Compliance with wearing face coverings was low. I would estimate that maybe just 25% of customers were wearing them. Many customers were in "back to normal" mode showing a complete lack of awareness for any level of distancing.

A bit disappointing, I thought.
eltonioni wrote:This week, stores here seem to have given up on having staff at the door sanitising trolleys and restricting numbers. Is that common?

Waitrose were still doing it here yesterday as were the main DIY store, small shops tend simply to restrict numbers with notes on the doors, though some are operating appointment systems and only open the door to those with appointments.

We were in the garden of a busy distancing pub with hand sanitiser and "wait to be seated" yesterday evening.

I'm expecting to see the stubborn, awkward and stupid easily identifiable next week :roll:
I can’t believe the dirty looks I was getting yesterday for trying to social distance.

People now look at you as if you are an idiot if you try to keep some separation.

Maybe, having 3 members of my extended family working in health care through this, one on a Covid ward and having lost a family member to Covid it feels more “real” to me.

Actually met a real person the other day who said they feel it’s a bit of a hoax.

It’s just not real for some people.

Remember when we were at 1000 deaths a day. That was pretty real.
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eltonioni wrote:This week, stores here seem to have given up on having staff at the door sanitising trolleys and restricting numbers. Is that common?

Yesterday I had to visit a shopping centre to keep an appointment at the Apple store inside. Although the centre was not particularly busy I would estimate that only about 20% of those there were wearing face masks of any sort. The centre itself had a clearly marked one-way system to keep people at some distance with floor marking arrows every 10 yards or so but still odd individuals chose to ignore the clear markings and walk against the flow. There were plenty of staff about but didn't see any one of them challenge such behaviour.

By contrast, at the Apple store itself there was a roped off queue space outside with clearly marked positions for people to stand apart from each other. Before entry my temperature was checked and people without face masks were handed one the wearing of which inside was compulsory. The atmosphere was relaxed but everybody was complying with social distancing. There were hand sanitiser dispensers at the entrance and on every table inside the store. Clearly it can be done, but I suspect many stores simply won't have the will to be as strict with non-compliant customers. And there are people who will see disregarding restrictions as a badge of honour highlighting their individualism. :roll:

JAFO liked this
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