How Suffolk shops are preparing for life after lockdown
PUBLISHED: 19:33 29 May 2020 | UPDATED: 19:33 29 May 2020
Sarah Lucy Brown
Businesses across Suffolk are preparing to reopen after Covid-19 lockdown restrictions were further loosened this week.
Across the county, shops have been preparing to welcome people back in a socially distanced manner.
Prime minister Boris Johnson announced that non-essential retail businesses would return in phases throughout June.
On June 1, outdoor markets and car dealerships can reopen. Then on June 15, all other non-essential retail can reopen – such as shops selling books, clothes and electronics.
Some businesses, such as family-owned homeware chain Glasswells, are able to open before June because of the types of products they sell.
The company is reopening its stores across Suffolk at 10am today. Paul Glasswell, managing director, said: “We are delighted to have been given the go ahead to reopen our stores in Bury, Ipswich and Haverhill this weekend, after what has been a very long ten week closure.
“We have worked hard over the last few weeks to ensure that we are able to maintain and encourage social distancing within our stores, as well as having the necessary protective equipment and sanitisers on hand so that we can be confident that both our customers and colleagues will be safe.”
Ipswich clothing store, Coes, plan to reopen on June 16.
The store has been reorganised to make social distancing possible.
Fiona Coe, the company’s marketing manager, said: “We’ve reconfigured every area in the shop to make sure that there are two metre passing areas.
“That has meant taking out fixtures and fitting and moving tables to give people the space to move around the store.”
The back door of the store will act as an entrance, and the front door will be the exit. A one-way system will also be used on the stores staircases.
But the services Coes offers, including alterations, will continue.
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Mrs Coe said: “Our changing rooms will be open because we don’t have rows, we just have individual cubicles. They’ll be cleaned after every single use.
“Anything that has been tried on and not purchased will be taken away and put on a rail with all of our ‘quarantined’ merchandise. It then won’t be returned to the shop floor for 72 hours.”
The reopened store will also operate shorter opening hours.
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