How Chesterfield shops are faring since they reopened

Business owners in Chesterfield have reported high footfall since they reopened – and said people are ‘delighted’ to be out shopping again.

Tuesday, 23rd June 2020, 10:58 am
Updated Thursday, 25th June 2020, 9:20 am

Non-essential retailers across England were able to open their doors to customers again last week after being shut for almost three months because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Anne-Marie White, owner of clothes shops Blanc and Blanc Occasions on Chatsworth Road, is feeling optimistic.

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She said: “We’ve been very busy at both shops with a lot of footfall.

“People are just delighted that they’re able to get out and go shopping again.

“We have created a controlled environment in both stores with a limited number of people inside at any one time and a one way-system marked out on the floor to enable people to social distance.

“We’re also asking everyone to use the hand sanitiser when they enter the shops and we’re steam cleaning all clothes each day.”

Laura Jo Owen, owner of Adorn Jewellers. Picture by John Bradley.

Anne-Marie, who is currently in the process of consolidating both shops to 177 Chatsworth Road, said people are again starting to think about occasions like weddings and proms – after many were cancelled amid the pandemic.

“We’ve taken lots of bookings for fittings for wedding outfits and prom dresses as events are being rescheduled for later in the year which everyone is really happy about and looking forward to,” she added.

“It’s just so great to reopen Blanc and see our customers again.”

Laura Jo Owen, owner of Adorn Jewellers in the Shambles, contacted customers via social media throughout lockdown to find out how they wanted to shop once restrictions were lifted.

We're urging people to support local shops as they reopen after months of lockdown.

They told her that they didn’t want to queue to get into the store so an appointment-only system was introduced when the shop reopened.

Laura Jo said: “Because we are just a small shop, we put an appointment-only system into place to manage the social distancing guidelines, but we didn’t know how it was going to work out.

“However, it has gone really well.

“On the first day of opening we were fully booked and have been nicely booked up since which is very positive.

Anne-Marie White, owner of Blanc and Blanc Occasions.

“We have hand sanitiser in the shop, which we are encouraging customers to use and we clean in between appointments.”

Reflecting on the past week since reopening, she added: “It’s been lovely.

“People are considerate, understanding and happy to be out.

“I really hope this new-found momentum for high street shopping continues.

“Now, more than ever, people are voting with their feet for the shops and stores they want to see remain on the high street.”

Lisa Swift, owner of Shop Indie in Vicar Lane Shopping Centre, said she was ‘delighted’ to reopen her gift store.

Lisa Swift, owner of Shop Indie.

“Lockdown has given people a new appreciation of going into a shop and being able to browse, particularly when they’re looking for a gift and don’t know what they want,” she said.

“The shop has hand sanitiser throughout the store which customers are encouraged to use.

“We’ve also put stickers on the floor reminding people of social distancing and added a Perspex screen to the counter.

“The feedback from customers has been great.”

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