The research shows that 49% of operators expect to have more than 80% of their sites open again by September, with a further 20% expecting to reopen between 61% and 80% of their estate in the same time frame.
Of these, 60% anticipate an eventual estate-wide reopening of their portfolio, while 40% predict having to shutter some sites permanently.
The results have been collated from the requested responses of 400 operators who tuned in to the CGA’s ‘resetting the course to recovery’ webinar, which took place on Wednesday (3 June).
In considering the best approach to reopening, only 24% say they plan to reopen all sites as soon as it is allowed; while 31% say they would be more inclined to open the majority of their sites immediately, but not all of them, with an eye to initiating a phased reopening for the rest of their estates.
Others, however, say they would choose to adopt a more cautious strategy, with 22% planning to open a minority of sites initially, before opening the rest in gradual phases.
With the current uncertainty and ever-changing environment, 11% say they would delay reopening until conditions improve; while 13% say they’re not yet sure what their reopening plans will look like.
“We are likely to see a cautious return to the sector, we’re likely to see footfall down and we’re likely to see sales down,” says Karl Chessell, CGA’s business unit director for food and retail.
“There are going to be ongoing challenges even though it’s very exciting that we have an open date to work to.
“Lots of operators are looking at new ways of working and have been really transparent about that, and that consumer communication will be very important.”