Shoppers looking for cut-price deals love the choice of bargain shops we have in the UK, but some consumers are so desperate for a cheap offer they would even crawl under a security shutter if it got stuck when opening.
This might sound unrealistic, but it is exactly what happened when the shutter of a Poundland store in St Albans, Hertfordshire, failed to open fully on Sunday (September 1st).
The Sun reported how the shop put a sign on its front that read: “Dear customers, our shutter is broken. We apologise for any inconvenience this may have caused, we will open today as soon as we fix the problem.”
Following this, managers decided to post another signage that said: “We are still open. Just crawl in. Mind the head.”
While many people might have thought this was bizarre, others were willing to bend down and work their way underneath the half-open shutter to get inside.
Passers-by, who were shocked at what they were seeing, began to record it on video, including Craig Shepherd.
Among the customers who crawled underneath the shutter to gain access to indoors was an elderly man, who took a few seconds to shuffle into the store. His partner, who was in a wheelchair, however, had to wait outside as the shutter was too low for them to gain entry to the shop.
A spokesperson for Poundland said: “The dodgy door was fixed within hours, but it shows how keen Poundland shoppers are to bag a bargain.”
It is certainly good to see some stores remain so popular that shoppers cannot wait to get inside, even if the doorways are blocked. This is particularly the case after the British Retail Consortium (BRC) revealed footfall on UK’s high streets has dropped considerably lately.
In July, it revealed total footfall plummeted by 2.9 per cent in June, falling by 2.4 per cent over the preceding quarter as well. The high street was hit the hardest, with footfall here declining by 4.5 per cent in June, and 3.5 per cent on a three-month basis.
Chief executive of the BRC Helen Dickinson said: “High streets were worst hit by the relatively poor June weather, with shopping centres also performing badly.”
She went on to say: “High streets and shopping centres across the country need to invest in improving their consumer experience if they wish to see these footfall numbers reverse. Unfortunately, high business rates, as well as a raft of other public policy costs, mean there I little left over to spend on these improvements.”
The BRC also recently reported how vacancy rates in the UK are highest for four years. The national town centre vacancy rate reached 10.3 per cent in July, which is the steepest recorded since January 2015.
Ms Dickinson noted: “Sluggish sales growth and declining footfall also contributed to the rise in town centre vacancies.”
Those shops that are still incredibly popular among consumers – like Poundland, it seems – should ensure that their steel roller shutters are working adequately. This way, they do not miss out on any customers, who, otherwise, would struggle to get through the door.