Coronavirus: "Are we actually going to have any customers?"

Coronavirus: "Are we actually going to have any customers?"

Published by The Stray FM News Team at 5:31pm 26th May 2020. (Updated at 5:39pm 26th May 2020)

More shops will be allowed to open from 15th June

Yesterday, the Prime Minister announced more of the Government's plan to "unlock the lockdown" - including opening shops which have so far been shut.

For the past ten weeks, clothes shops, department stores and toy shops have only been able to trade online.

From 15th June they will once again be able to open their doors.

Retailers will have to put in place steps to ensure they are "COVID-19 secure" in order to be allowed to open.

coronavirus sign
Floor markings are part of measures shops are taking to make them safer for customers.

Lisa Dyson owns Games Crusade, a games and toy shop in Harrogate. She told Stray FM:

"It's exciting to think that we'll be able to reopen our doors, but then it's daunting to think - if we reopen the doors, are we actually going to have any customers?

"We don't know what appetite there is for people to come back into town and back into shops.

"It could be more depressing to be stood here all day with no customers, even though they're allowed to come - it depends on the view of the public."

Many shops are operating delivery services during lockdown.

Lisa owned The Present Planners, a similar shop in Skipton. However, when its lease came to an end, she decided not to renew it, because of the added economic pressure of the coronavirus crisis.

That's not helped by the fact they don't qualify for any of the Government's financial support schemes.

She told Stray FM she might return to the area in future:

"If my lease hadn't been up, I'd still be there and fighting to survive, but it was up so I had to make that decision.

"We've got a lot of local customers - and loyal customers - and they've shown their loyalty by using my service online during lockdown.

"Although we've done postal deliveries, all the Skipton area I've been delivering and driving myself and dropping their jigsaws or games at their door."

New guidance has been released to allow shop owners to re-open safely

Retailers need to follow guidance to become "COVID-19 secure" before they open.

In Games Crusade, there will be separate entrance and exit doors, a screen at the till, hand sanitiser and masks, and a limit on the number of people allowed in at one time.

Lisa added:

"I'm trying to do everything I can to make sure that when people come, it's a safe place to be, to the best of our ability.

"Customers can be reassured that we're trying our best to make sure it's a safe - and still a friendly - experience."