Wigan town centre retailer reflects on potential long-term impact of Covid

Tony Porter, who runs Games 'n' More, has been thinking about a year for retail like no other.

Tuesday, 13th April 2021, 7:00 am

Tony reopened his store, located in The Galleries Shopping Centre, to customers on Monday as non-essential retail began again.

He said he has been content to do his bit to slow the spread of Covid-19 and keep his shop shut during the various national lockdowns implemented since last March, but also expressed his satisfaction at being able to return to trading.

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Tony Porter in Games 'n' More

Tony, who sells new and retro games and consoles, records and DVDs, said: “Reopening is a step in the right direction. The Government was too slow to enter the first lockdown and too quick to lift it but this time they seem to have got it about right.

“I think that if we hadn’t opened in December we could have been back open a couple of months ago.

“This pandemic has brought to light the fact there are more important things than businesses and making money. I’ve been more than happy to stay at home for the good of the country.

“This has changed the world. I don’t think we will ever be the same as we were.

“Hopefully this will be the last lockdown and we can crack on. I’ve got my fingers crossed for that.

“I’m not expecting too much at first. I think people will still be cautious about things like using public transport and that’s how quite a lot of my customers get here.

“I did have quite a few people messaging on social media or ringing to ask when we were opening. We will just have to see how it goes.

“We’ve been shut for seven months out of the last 12. People have got into the habit of not going into towns.

“This has rushed the problem of the internet along by about 10 years in the space of a year.

“I want to be a bricks-and-mortar shop. The whole point of somewhere like this is that people come in, have a root around, talk to me about a game or chat and put the world to rights. I want to have that interaction.”

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