'Raring to go' - Businesses ready to reopen in time for Christmas rush

Businesses in south and west Norfolk are preparing to reopen once the second national lockdown ends

Businesses in south and west Norfolk are preparing to reopen once the second national lockdown ends - Credit: Archant

Businesses in south and west Norfolk are making final preparations ahead of reopening at the end of the second lockdown - just in time for the busy festive period.

Shoppers in facemasks in Norwich. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Non-essential retailers on Norfolk's high streets can reopen from December 2 - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2020

As part of measures designed to curb the spread of coronavirus, non-essential retailers were forced to shut when the second national lockdown came into force on November 5.

Despite having access to government grants to help them survive, dozens of stores across Norfolk and Waveney have missed out on crucial trade in the build-up to Christmas.

Heath Secretary Matt Hancock speaking in the House of Commons on Tuesday. Photo: House of Common/PA Wire

Health secretary Matt Hancock gave details of the country's exit from the second national lockdown in the House of Commons - Credit: PA

But, having been given official confirmation they can reopen as the region enters Tier Two of the revised alert system, shops are now focused on making up for lost time.

Nicola Ready, who owns women's clothing store, Flories, in Diss Market Place, says she will open seven days a week instead of six to compensate. 

"I'm really looking forward to being back," she said. "The government has helped where it can with the financial side of things, but it's just not the same as being open.

Nicola Ready, owner of clothing shop Flories in Diss, was pleased to see customers returning. Pictur

Nicola Ready is making final preparations ahead of reopening Flories in Diss - Credit: Archant

"For me it is all about seeing people during the busiest period of the year. You miss that interaction when you can't have it.

"People are a bit more jolly at Christmas time and we've already missed that in November. I think everybody is raring to go and we just can't wait now to make up for it."

Jane Aldridge, owner of Aldridge Crafts, in Attleborough, is also making changes - switching from five days a week to seven upon reopening.

Jane Aldridge, owner of Aldridge Crafts in Attleborough, has called on shoppers to support the town

Jane Aldridge says trade at Aldridge Crafts, Attleborough, has been 70pc down throughout November - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2014

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Mrs Aldridge, who has ran a click and collect service during lockdown, added: "It has been hard because November is our peak month and I am more than 70pc down.

"Opening seven days a week will make us as available as possible, and help us recoup as many sales as we can.

"This time around it's been frustrating to see a lot more of the big-name stores stay open, but that's just the way it is."

Paul Adcock, of electrical shop, Adcocks, says people outside the town were more concerned about Wat

Paul Adcock is set to reopen electrical store, Adcocks, in Watton, following the second national lockdown - Credit: Ian Burt

Paul Adcock, who runs electrical shop Adcocks, in Watton, added: "It will be nice to get customers in the door again and actually see them face-to-face.

"Last time we had quite a surge in sales because people had been waiting for us to reopen."

Our Shop Local campaign is urging people to get out and support local independent businesses.

Shop Local is a use-it-or-lose-it plea to shoppers to consider independent traders and businesses this Christmas and beyond in a bid to bolster our beloved high streets and spark a wave of online spending.