The latest data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed that the volume of monthly retail sales fell by 5.1 per cent in March. Of course, some sectors have been worse affected than others. For instance, the data revealed that clothing stores experienced a 34.8 per cent month-on-month decline in sales.

By contrast, food stores saw their sales climb by 10.4 per cent in the same period, partially driven by panic-buying activity among some UK consumers.

The ONS data also indicated that there was an overall decline in sales among UK retailers in the first quarter of 2020, with sales dropping by 1.4 per cent in this three-month period compared to the same time in 2019.

With all stores deemed non-essential by the government currently closed, it’s reasonable to assume that there will be a further and significant drop in retail sales volume when the figures for April are made available, given that lockdown in the UK is currently not due to be reviewed until 7 May 2020 and there are no indications yet as to when conditions might be eased.

Chief economic adviser to the EY Item Club Howard Archer told CityAM that it’s likely that retailers will continue to struggle for some time, not only because they have been forced to shut the doors of their stores, but also because consumers are approaching purchases with caution.

“The near-term fundamentals for consumer spending have clearly taken a substantial downturn as a result of Coronavirus. Some people have already lost their jobs, despite supportive government measures and incomes have also been affected,” he stated.

Mr Archer added: “Furthermore, consumers are likely to adopt a much more cautious approach to discretionary purchases given the uncertain economic environment.”

Of course, it isn’t just retail that’s affected. Many businesses that rely on footfall both in the UK’s towns and cities and at retail parks and other premises are suffering from the extended period of time that the country is spending in lockdown to combat the global pandemic.

Any businesses that are closed during this period will want to make sure that their premises are as secure as possible. Investing in the likes of door security grilles in the UK could therefore be advisable for any organisation that wants to bolster its security.

The British Retail Consortium (BRC) recently issued guidance to retailers to help them prepare for when stores across the UK will be allowed to reopen.

It noted that, although there is no definitive date for when businesses in the non-food retail sector might be able to start opening their doors again, retailers need to be ready and prepared when the time comes.

In its guidance, the BRC recommends measures such as having separate entry and exit points in stores if possible, limiting the number of customers allowed in a store at any one time, and providing cleaning stations with disinfectant wipes and/or hand sanitiser for people as they enter and leave a shop.