COVID-19

In London’s lockdown, a small honey retailer navigates online sales

Kai Ryssdal and Bennett Purser Apr 29, 2020
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Janet Nguyen/Marketplace
COVID-19

In London’s lockdown, a small honey retailer navigates online sales

Kai Ryssdal and Bennett Purser Apr 29, 2020
Janet Nguyen/Marketplace
HTML EMBED:
COPY

Home to fresh and artisan foods, Borough Market is one of London’s oldest food destinations. Typically bustling with shoppers, the market’s essential grocers are open even as the United Kingdom remains under lockdown to stem the outbreak of the novel coronavirus.

The “Marketplace” team visited Borough Market last year while reporting on the economic concerns of Brexit. That’s when we met Samantha Wallace, owner of From Field and Flower, a specialty shop that sells a variety of international honey products. Wallace has decided to close the small shop, focusing on online sales. We asked her about managing a business during the global pandemic and her thoughts on the future of retail.

Samantha Wallace with her husband, Stefano Troiani. (Courtesy of Samantha Wallace)

“Generally speaking, there is a big hole in our turnover, sadly, so we’re losing quite a lot of money,” Wallace said. “But effectively, the bit of money we’re getting helps moral, helps us feel positive and also helps us continue to pay our staff while they’re on lockdown.”

Click the audio player above to hear the interview.

COVID-19 Economy FAQs

New COVID-19 cases and deaths in the U.S. are on the rise. How are Americans reacting?

Johns Hopkins University reports the seven-day average of new cases hit 68,767 on Sunday  — a record — eclipsing the previous record hit in late July during the second, summer wave of infection. A funny thing is happening with consumers though: Even as COVID-19 cases rise, Americans don’t appear to be shying away from stepping indoors to shop or eat or exercise. Morning Consult asked consumers how comfortable they feel going out to eat, to the shopping mall or on a vacation. And their willingness has been rising. Surveys find consumers’ attitudes vary by age and income, and by political affiliation, said Chris Jackson, who heads up polling at Ipsos.

How many people are flying? Has traveled picked up?

Flying is starting to recover to levels the airline industry hasn’t seen in months. The Transportation Security Administration announced on Oct. 19 that it’s screened more than 1 million passengers on a single day — its highest number since March 17. The TSA also screened more than 6 million passengers last week, its highest weekly volume since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. While travel is improving, the TSA announcement comes amid warnings that the U.S. is in the third wave of the coronavirus. There are now more than 8 million cases in the country, with more than 219,000 deaths.

How are Americans feeling about their finances?

Nearly half of all Americans would have trouble paying for an unexpected $250 bill and a third of Americans have less income than before the pandemic, according to the latest results of our Marketplace-Edison Poll. Also, 6 in 10 Americans think that race has at least some impact on an individual’s long-term financial situation, but Black respondents are much more likely to think that race has a big impact on a person’s long-term financial situation than white or Hispanic/Latinx respondents.

Find the rest of the poll results here, which cover how Americans have been faring financially about six months into the pandemic, race and equity within the workplace and some of the key issues Trump and Biden supporters are concerned about.

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