Open and shut case: how did lockdown affect shops?

14 November 2020

9:00 AM

14 November 2020

9:00 AM

Shot in the arm

Global stock markets reached a new high after pharmaceutical firm Pfizer announced a vaccine it is developing has been found to be 90 per cent effective. What have been the best- and worst-performing FTSE 100 shares over the past 12 months?


Scot. Mortgage Investment Trust | +109%

Ocado | +94%

Fresnillo (gold production) | +86%

Flutter Entertainment | +75%

Polymetal | +51%


Rolls-Royce | -74%

Int. Consolidated Airlines | -71%

BP | -61%

Shell (B shares) | -58%

Lloyds Bank | -52%

Pharma’s life

Who was Mr Pfizer? Charles Pfizer set up a factory with his cousin Charles Erhart in Brooklyn in 1849, initially to produce the drug santonin, used to purge the intestinal tract of parasitic worms. They did not, however, discover the drug, which was first made in Germany in the 1830s using a plant called artemisia, from Turkmenistan. — In more recent times Pfizer was involved in manufacturing and supplying penicillin to US troops during the second world war. In 1957 it established a plant at Sandwich, Kent, to produce the antibiotic for the wider medical market.

Open and shut case

What effect did the first lockdown have on shops? Figures for January-June period:

Openings | Closures

2016 | 5,194 | 7,195

2017 | 5,794 | 6,453

2018 | 4,463 | 7,311

2019 | 5,008 | 8,517

2020 | 5,119 | 11,120

Source: PwC

Fur flies

Denmark started culling 17 million mink due to fears over a new variant of the virus which causes Covid-19. Fur farming was banned in Britain in 2000. Which countries farm the most mink — the most commonly used animal in the fur trade? Pelts produced in 2015:

China | 32m

Denmark | 17.8m

Poland | 9m

Netherlands | 5.6m

United States | 3.8m

Canada | 2.9m

Russia | 2.1m

Finland | 1.9m

Source: International Fur Federation

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