Preston’s shops are preparing to reopen from Monday 15 June, as lockdown eases across the country.Advertisement
Plans have been put in motion after Boris Johnson’s announcement on non-essential shops earlier this week, which also stated that retailers will have to adhere to new guidelines to protect shoppers and workers.
To ensure guidelines can be met, Preston shop owners are bringing in new signage and safety equipment.
Action Records in Church Street has managed to stay busy throughout lockdown thanks to loyal customers buying online. However come 15 June, the iconic record store will be reopening its doors.
A spokesperson said: “We’ll have a hand sanitiser dispenser at the door along with boxes of disposable gloves. There will be signs up about distancing, and we’ll only let so many people in at a time.”
Paul Taylor of The Picture Man in Water Lane says he is looking forward to opening up to the public again.
The popular framer said: “I’ve been working reduced hours and with appointments, which has been good, but I’ve got a nice crowd of customers who I’ve missed.
“I’ll be ready to open on 15 June with a plastic screen installed and rules about social distancing.”
Read more: Preston outdoor market set to open next week with social distancing measures in place
Another Water Lane business, Stacey’s Cake-Away, is set to reopen after choosing to close its doors.
“We shut for three weeks when the lockdown was first announced – more so for ourselves, with the kids suddenly off school and not really knowing how to cope. During that time we prepared for our contactless delivery service, which we’ve been running ever since.
“However we’re now planning to reopen the shop to the public. We’ll have a sneeze guard, antibacterial gel, a restriction of only two customers at a time, and markers on the floor two metres apart.”
Read more: How Preston’s independent eateries are reopening and adapting to lockdown
Stacey says she’s looking forward to getting the shop open, but won’t hesitate to close again if she feels it’s unsafe.
“I’m very excited to see our customers, especially our regulars. However, if I find it’s too busy and it becomes unsafe we will open a delivery service to help take some demand away from walk-ins, or just close altogether again and go back to deliveries only.
“It’s a very strange time, so we’re just going to have to take it as it comes.”
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Councillor Matthew Brown, Leader of Preston City Council, also says there will be a learning curve for everyone involved in the high street reopening.
He said: “We welcome the news the Government is investing in the safe reopening of high streets.
“Preston’s city centre is a high priority for the Council and we are already working with key partners, including the Business Improvement District and Lancashire County Council, to create plans to support a successful recovery phase while maintaining the lowest possible risk to visitors, employees and business owners.
“This is new territory for all of us and we will be working together to find the best possible solutions that will benefit Preston.”
The news about Preston’s high street reopening comes as experts warn the city is one of 18 places in England identified as being yet to hit the peak of the virus.
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Which shops are you looking forward to reopening? Will you be hitting the high street? Let us know in the comments.