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Garden centre to re-open this week after ‘study’ of other businesses

PUBLISHED: 17:33 11 May 2020 | UPDATED: 12:02 12 May 2020

Sam Lowe, manager of Garden Centre Overstrand. The company is still operating a delivery service during lockdown.
Picture: Garden Centre Overstrand

Sam Lowe, manager of Garden Centre Overstrand. The company is still operating a delivery service during lockdown. Picture: Garden Centre Overstrand

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A Lowestoft garden centre which closed at the end of March will reopen this week - albeit with “strict social distancing measures” in place.

Cherry Lane garden centre will be re-opening this Wednesday. Photo: Early Dawn Cherry Lane Garden CentreCherry Lane garden centre will be re-opening this Wednesday. Photo: Early Dawn Cherry Lane Garden Centre

Early Dawn by Cherry Lane garden centre, in Carlton Colville, has made the decision to re-open on Wednesday, May 13 after “carefully studying” how other essential retailers have enacted distancing rules.

Despite the centre’s classification as “essential” due to its provision of food, convenience items and DIY goods, it closed its doors when lockdown was announced.

Group operations director, Karl Ottolangui, said: “We are delighted to be able to reopen on Wednesday and welcome our customers back.

“We have carefully studied how other essential retailers have handled social distancing to allow them to reopen while keeping staff and customers safe.

Despite many garden centres being deemed Despite many garden centres being deemed "essential", most closed their doors over the coronavirus lockown out of concern for customers safety. Photo: Anthony Kelly

“The measures we now have in place follow best practice and the advice of the government and the British Retail Consortium.”

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In order to maintain safe distance between customers and staff, the garden centre will have a designated queuing area outside.

Markers are also being placed at two metre intervals to help customers respect each other’s personal space. 

Inside, the centre has two metre floor markers and all checkouts are provided with protective plastic screens.

The centre has also said that the Plantation café will not be open at this stage.

Nathan Skoyles, manager at Early Dawn by Cherry Lane, said: “All of the team here at Cherry Lane are very excited to be back and serving our customers again.

“People are spending a lot of time in their gardens at the moment, so we are ensuring we are fully stocked and looking forward to being able to supply all our customers’ needs.

“However, for the safety of our customers and staff, we do ask you to bear with us if you have to queue, and obey the social distancing procedures we have in place, as we are limiting the number of customers in the centre at any one time.

“We are providing cleaning stations for our trolleys, encouraging contactless or card payments and asking customers to shop alone if at all possible.”


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