'You just adapt to it' - town businesses evolve in year of lockdowns

Jackie Ward at Mundesley Road Stores in North Walsham.

Jackie Ward at Mundesley Road Stores in North Walsham. - Credit: Casey Cooper-Fiske

Town shopkeepers say a year of lockdowns and restrictions has meant they have evolved their businesses in order to adapt to an ever changing world.

Some shop keepers in North Walsham, where traders were hit by a "double whammy" of road closures for gas works and social distancing at the beginning of the pandemic, say they have begun to see steady trade again despite lockdown.

Jackie Ward, who runs Mundesley Road Stores in the town, said the shop had seen "brilliant" trade as she and her staff had become used to changing in line with restrictions.

She said: "To be honest it has been brilliant business wise, we went mad at the beginning because we were rushed off our feet, but the second time around we kept to our normal hours.

"Things have been going steady, we're seeing people that we didn't see in the first lockdown and those people are coming back.

"We've got screens up, we wear masks or shields and customers are very good, you just adapt to it, whatever they say you just do, a lot of people think it's a load of rubbish but the majority are being good."


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Kyle Locke at the Tech Geeks said a year of home working had made the company busier with many needing remote assistance for their laptops.

The Tech Geeks in North Walsham.

The Tech Geeks in North Walsham. - Credit: Casey Cooper-Fiske

He said: "We're still operating in a similar way to a year ago, offering repairs and things like that.

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"We've stayed busy because people are using their systems for work, so a lot of the time it's providing non-contact support over the phone.

"It's certainly made us busier in some ways because of the amount of people working from home and that's continuing."

Colin Page at CD Page tobacconist and sweet shop said he felt it would be a steady return to normal business when non-essential shops reopen on April 12 rather than a mass rush.

Colin Page, owner of CD Page confectioner and tobacconist in North Walsham. Pictures: David Bale

Colin Page, owner of CD Page confectioner and tobacconist in North Walsham. Pictures: David Bale - Credit: Archant

He said: "It's been a lot quieter and we've seen a lot less people.

"It did start to increase around September and October when that first lockdown came off, not back to where it was, but it was certainly an upward trend, but that's going to happen.

"I hope it'll see a rise on April 12, a lot of people are saying there will be a mad rush, but personally I can't see it, I think we'll see a gradual return.

"It can't go on indefinitely, but you just sort of get on with it when there's restriction changes, businesses can't survive on the amount of trade you do during lockdown."

North Walsham shops carry on under lockdown. Picture: Casey Cooper-Fiske

North Walsham's latest town guide is out now. Picture: Casey Cooper-Fiske - Credit: Archant


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