‘It’s been incredibly busy’ - garden centre sees record week following reopening

Owner Ben Youngs says North Walsham Garden Centre has seen record trade since it reopened. Picture:

Owner Ben Youngs says North Walsham Garden Centre has seen record trade since it reopened. Picture: MARK BULLIMORE - Credit: Archant

North Walsham Garden Centre. Photo: Alex Hurrell

North Walsham Garden Centre. Photo: Alex Hurrell - Credit: Colin Finch

North Walsham Garden Centre reopened on May 18 following lockdown closure on March 23, and owner Ben Youngs says people have been rushing to the store in order to catch up in the garden.

Mr Youngs said lockdown could not have come at a worse time as the spring and summer months were the garden centre’s yearly peak times, however he added that losses had been offset by a lockdown delivery service which had proved popular with customers.

Mr Youngs said: “We could’ve reopened a little earlier but we needed to get all the safety measures in place, but it’s been incredibly busy since it’s reopened and it’s been manageable, we’ve always had one of the owners on the door telling people the rules before they go in and we’ve not had any issues at all.

“Closure came during our peak time for custom so it wasn’t great, we’ve had our delivery service, which was very popular, which has kept us going through lockdown, but obviously it wasn’t as good as it could’ve been during the season, but it’s definitely worked well.

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“We are putting plans in place for the restaurant for when we get the call to reopen, we haven’t got the full guidance yet, but we’ll be putting measures in place whether it be limiting the number of customers or extending the outside space.”

All of the garden centre’s facilities are now reopen, with the exception of the restaurant which it is hoped will reopen in early July, customer toilets also remain closed.

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Staff at the garden centre have been pleased with the way customers have taken to the new one-way system and limited numbers, the only issue Mr Youngs says the shop has faced since reopening has been supply of stock.

Protective screens have been installed at the checkout and hand sanitisers have been placed around the store in order to give an extra level of safety, with the owners urging that customers pay with their card if possible.

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