Excitement and postivity over re-opening of 'non essential' shops in Leamington on Monday
Both the Leamington Chamber of Trade chairwoman and the executive director of BID Leamington are positive about the forthcoming reopening of ‘non essential shops’ and offices and are encouraging shoppers to start in the town centre on April 12.
Those who are heavily involved with retail and trade in Leamington have expressed their excitement over the forthcoming reopening of ‘non essential shops’ and offices in the town centre on Monday (April 12).
Hayley Key, who is both the chairwoman of The Royal Leamington Spa Chamber of Trade and the manager of Lockwoods ski and outdoor shop in Rugby Road on the outskirts of the town centre has seen the latest temporary closure of shops during the Covid-19 pandemic from two perspectives.
She said: “Everyone’s very excited for Monday.
“It’s a real positive step forward for the town and the country.
“We’ve been getting great feedback from people who are coming back to work at offices in the town centre who have said they are keen to support businesses by buying lunch out and shopping during their lunch breaks.
“And from my perspective, as a new mum, I’m looking forward to being able to go and meet people for a coffee.
“We want people to come into the town again. There’s still a week left of the half term from Monday so there’s time for them to do that.”
Despite Presto Music experiencing its most financially successful year in 2020 thanks to the e-commerce side of the business, its CEO Chris O’Reilly remains a strong advocate for brick-and-mortar retail and is looking forward to welcoming back shoppers to his store on Park Street.
He said: “Browsing through tangible products in a physical store is definitely a more intimate, tactile experience when compared to swiping across a screen.
“It’s also a place where you can converse with like-minded people who share the same taste as you do. And after a year spent mostly in our own homes, there is a palpable sense of nostalgia for walking around a familiar store you haven’t been to for too long.
“The retail sector would’ve been even more severely impacted without e-commerce last year, but that doesn’t mean we should overlook the vital role that brick-and-mortar still has to play.
“Not only do physical stores help drive the local economy, they’re also great for bringing together communities.”
Stephanie Kerr, executive director for BID Leamington said that in the past year managing Covid has been “extraordinarily challenging” for businesses in the town centre and the wider community and that she and her colleagues have welcomed the Government’s ‘roadmap out of lockdown’ with cautious optimism.
She added: “Alongside the emergence of spring, we are very pleased that non-essential retail businesses and outdoor hospitality will open on April 12 and we are looking forward to seeing business owners and staff who we have missed for so long.
“Behind the scenes, business owners are working hard to prepare to safely welcome their customers back and we know many people are eager to support them and rediscover our town’s fantastic offer.
“BID Leamington is also working alongside businesses and local partners to ensure the town centre is safe, clean, beautiful and welcoming.
“We are conscious that many businesses cannot yet open or are unable to trade outdoors, so we urge everyone to continue to support those businesses and to follow health advice, so that we can see more open from May 17.
“To find out who is open, how you can support town centre businesses and enjoy some local promotions, please visit www.loveleamington.com and like our social media pages.”