The British high street has been dealt a near-fatal blow by the coronavirus pandemic. As shops have closed and opened, closed and opened, the institution that holds such a special place in the nation’s hearts - from the teenage girl getting her first out-out top to the mum treating herself to a new winter coat - has suffered major casualties, the latest being Arcadia Group, which fell into administration earlier this week.
In the run up to Christmas, a pivotal moment for non-essential shops just emerging from lockdown, one high street stalwart wanted to spread a message of positivity. River Island has united retailers in solidarity with a social media campaign called #StandingByTheHighStreet.
What started with followers and customers sharing yellow hearts on Tuesday - a gesture demonstrating that they’re standing by the high street on the eve of shops opening - has spread to other brands such as John Lewis, Topshop, Topman, M&S and Primark, who today will all be posting yellow hearts for a morale boost that, competitors or not, they all so desperately need at this moment in 2020.
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The overwhelming message? The high street will always be in fashion.