What will a Marks and Spencer shopping trip look like after lockdown?

You may have been visiting your local Marks and Spencer a lot during lockdown. Like all supermarkets, its near-600 food halls have remained open so that shoppers can pick up essential supplies like milk, bread and toilet paper.

If you had been after a multipack of socks or a pair of children’s shoes though, you’d have been out of luck, as all other departments have been closed to the public since lockdown began on 23rd March. Shopping online has proven to be a workable solution, but returns are a faff that many of us simply don’t have the time or inclination to deal with.

So news that non-essential shops can reopen from 15th June will come as welcome relief to many, and M&S is among the stores readying for that date. But a post-lockdown shopping trip will be markedly different from the experience we’ve come to know. 

Marks & Spencer

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Best offers on clothing from Nike, Asos, H&M and more

The coronavirus pandemic has meant all non-essential businesses have been closed since lockdown began on 23 March.

It’s had a detrimental impact on fashion shops across the UK. B2B magazine, Drapers reported in-store sales have dropped 84 per cent compared to 2019, and – despite online grocery sales surging – for the rest of the retail landscape things also look bleak.

Debenhams is closing five more stores across the UK, while Oasis and Warehouse have both permenantly closed after administraitors failed to find a buyer, which also includes around 2,000 jobs losses.

That said, prime minister Boris Johnson has announced all non-essential retailers will be able to reopen in England from 15 June, a move which will include clothes shops, in the latest easing of lockdown restrictions.

As an army of shops prepare to open their doors to the public for the first time in months, many

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Black-Owned Fashion Brands and Boutiques to Support Now and Forever

In the wake of recent events—most recently the murders of George FloydAhmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor—many people, including the Who What Wear editorial team, have been asking what they can do. Aurora James, the founder and designer of Brother Vellies, answered that question by creating the 15% Pledge, which calls major retailers to pledge 15% of their shelf space to Black-owned businesses. Swipe through her Instagram post below to read more about the reasoning and impact.

But what if you’re an individual? You can put pressure on these major retailers by contacting the company or commenting on their social posts. You can also consider dedicating 15% or more of your personal fashion spending to Black-owned brands.

It’s also important to note that the financial impact of COVID-19 has generally hit Black-owned brands harder than others, as illustrated in the graphic below by Mona Chalabi

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‘Never Have I Ever’ Star Richa Moorjani

The scene-stealer shares her own influence on Kamala’s style in Mindy Kaling’s Netflix series and her speed-shopping trip for her “Vogue” India-covered wedding.

(L to R), Maitreyi Ramakrishnan as Devi, Richa Moorjani as Kamala and Poorna Jagannathan as Nalini in 'Never Have I Ever.'
(L to R), Maitreyi Ramakrishnan as Devi, Richa Moorjani as Kamala and Poorna Jagannathan as Nalini in ‘Never Have I Ever.’

We all buy clothes, but no two people shop the same. It can be a social experience, and a deeply personal one; at times, it can be impulsive and entertaining, at others, purpose-driven, a chore. Where do you shop? When do you shop? How do you decide what you need, how much to spend and what’s “you”? These are some of the questions we’re putting to prominent figures in our column “How I Shop.”

In “Never Have I Ever,” Devi’s cousin Kamala is too focused on studying for her PhD, bingeing “Riverdale” and secretly meeting with CalTech snack, Steve, to

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