Huggle prepares London stores for reopening

Independent nursery retailer Huggle looks forward to getting back to business as it prepares to reopen its London stores from 15 June, as owner Jason Heller explained to PreschoolNews.net.

Following the government’s statement last weekend, non-essential retailers across the UK have been beginning to prepare their stores for reopening, making changes to store layouts and working environments in order to make them as safe as possible while also complying with the social distancing guidelines.

“We were already targeting the beginning of June for a phased re-opening of one store with private appointments for customers who have been communicating with us for a number of weeks,” revealed Jason, “so it’s great that we know have a firm date to focus on for a full reopening of our stores.”

However, it’s not all plain sailing: “We are having to approach the re-opening of both stores in a slightly different way due to their locations and that is creating work and expense for us that we had not anticipated. Bringing furloughed staff back into the fold after a long period off is a concern for everyone and although the team are excited to get back this needs to be done in a considered manner and without putting too much pressure on everyone.”

Jason also added a note of caution, pointing out that: “Just because businesses are open, it doesn’t necessarily mean that people will come back immediately or that all businesses will recover fully, so we are approaching it in a positive but cautious way. The big challenge for many stores will be whether they can get enough business in the first few weeks to balance against the costs of reopening.”

“Shopping is is ultimately a fun experience much of the time and social distancing may take that away,” he concluded. “It’s definitely going to be a very different way of shopping to what we are all used to and there is without doubt going to be a period of bedding in during the initial months.”

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