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Ipswich florist takes to the road in horsebox as shop footfall decreases amid coronavirus

The new Emma's Florist horsebox will visit towns and villages across Suffolk. Pictured is owner Emma Felgate. Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

The new Emma's Florist horsebox will visit towns and villages across Suffolk. Pictured is owner Emma Felgate. Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

Charlotte Bond

A florist who saw footfall at her two Ipswich shops decrease during the Covid-19 crisis has decided to take to the road – to bring her colourful, fresh flower collection directly to the people.

Emma's Florist decided to take its flowers on the road in a horsebox after noticing a decline in footfall in its stores. Pictured is Karen-Jane Linsell. Picture: CHARLOTTE BONDEmma's Florist decided to take its flowers on the road in a horsebox after noticing a decline in footfall in its stores. Pictured is Karen-Jane Linsell. Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

Emma’s Florist has continued to see high demand for its floral creations even during lockdown, with many sending heart-warming gifts to those they have been unable see in person.

Yet despite still being “extremely busy”, many of the firm’s older customers have felt unable to visit the florist’s Nacton Road and St Peter’s Street premises.

While her customers might be careful about coming to her stores, owner Emma Felgate is now determined to bring her shops directly to the people.

She has bought a horsebox, affectionally nicknamed Bessie, which she is driving round parts of Suffolk so people can browse flowers in the greater security of the open fresh air.

Emma's Florist brought a range of colourful creations on visits to Stutton and Grundisburgh. Picture: CHARLOTTE BONDEmma's Florist brought a range of colourful creations on visits to Stutton and Grundisburgh. Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

The 39-year-old, who has run her Nacton Road store for 17 years and opened her St Peter’s Street branch two years ago, said: “We’ve had to think outside the box, as a lot of elderly customers don’t want to come into the shop.

“We’ve been extremely busy and the phone has been ringing non-stop – people just don’t want to come in or venture out in the first place.

“When we reopened the shop after lockdown, we knew it was going to be like this for a very long time.”

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She said amid the concerns over coronavirus, it is important for businesses to be flexible.

“It’s really nice for them to have it on their doorsteps and for them to be able to choose like they used to,” she said.

“We’ve got certain destinations where we’re planning to go and it’s all going to be out in the open.”

Mrs Felgate believes the hardship of the coronavirus crisis has meant many people find sending flowers more important than ever.

Emma's Florist has continued to see high demand - but concerns about coronavirus means many customers have been nervous about visiting stores in person.  Picture: CHARLOTTE BONDEmma's Florist has continued to see high demand - but concerns about coronavirus means many customers have been nervous about visiting stores in person. Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

“80% of the flowers sent out have been thank yous,” she said.

“Everyone had to think and reflect that a lot of people in their lives mean a lot to them – sending flowers is just a nice thing to do.

“Sometimes, it’s also about people treating themselves.”

Mrs Felgate spent her first day in the horsebox on Tuesday, September 15 in Stutton, between 10am and 2pm, and Grundisburgh between 3pm and 6pm.

For more information about Emma’s Florist, call 01473 272747 or email Emma’s Florist here.

Alternatively, visit the Emma’s Florist website.


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