Boss of Jarrold reveals reopening date – and store’s famous scones will be on sale
The chief executive of Norwich department store Jarrold has revealed it will be opening its doors to the public again on Monday, June 15.
Minnie Moll said the store is considering operating for reduced hours from 10am-3pm, although this is to be confirmed.
And although its restaurants and cafes are not allowed to be open, she said that takeaway coffee and some bakery and deli items – including the much-loved Jarrold scones, created by the store from a recipe in 1923 – would be available. These would be for takeaway only.
Ms Moll also said “no decision” had been made on staffing. Workers were being unfurloughed gradually, she said, with around 400 employed.
“We absolutely will be keeping employment costs in mind. We want to get the store open and see what the trade is.”
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Safety measures are being put in place such as floor signage which will direct customers one way around the store. The total number of shoppers will be limited into the store.
Ms Moll said this number was still being worked out but they wanted to avoid long queues forming outside. She said no gloves were going to be worn by staff but masks would be provided to use at their own discretion.
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“Queuing is a problem because retailers in the city centre are next to other retailers, you can’t queue in a big car park so we are currently in discussion on how to manage the queuing.”
Since Jarrold reopened its website two weeks ago, Ms Moll said that sales had done well – one week was 600pc up on the same online week last year.
“We are selling a lot of food mixers, items for baking and a lot of sports items, training shoes, home exercise items such as yoga mats and a lot of fashion – making up 25pc of all online sales.”
She said the store was now getting ready for the reopening with staff being trained on the new protocol. Much had already been done such as perspex screens at tills and plenty of hand sanitiser.
“The problem for a store like Jarrold, which is synonymous with positivity, a positive experience, is you don’t want it to look like a nuclear power station.
“I do believe the recovery for the retail sector is going to be long and slow – there will be people who are really keen to get out and go to a store which is Covid-19 safe and secure and who will take responsibility for themselves but there will be a lot of people who are vulnerable or who have a vulnerable family member, people who are more cautious who have every right to be that, who will stay at home for longer.”
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