'It felt like a Saturday' - Steady return for city shops after second lockdown

Ben Allen, from Silver Jewellers in St Benedict's Street, Norwich.

Ben Allen, from Silver Jewellers in St Benedict's Street, Norwich. - Credit: Archant

Businesses in Norwich enjoyed a steady first day back after the second national lockdown - with one in particular describing trade as being "like a Saturday".

Following the end of the second set of national lockdown measures, non-essential shops were allowed to open their doors to customers once again, having missed out on the entire of November's footfall.Shoppers spoke of a return to the hustle and bustle of the high street, but the stories of the traders varied from one shop to another.

For Paul Mills,  of Soundclash record store on St Benedict's Street, it was a busy a weekday as he could remember - though in a bittersweet fashion.

He said: "We were very busy - I took double what I ordinarily would on an ordinary Wednesday - it felt more like a Saturday.

"However, I personally don't understand why small, niche shops like ours were closed during the lockdown to begin with. It feels to me like people are just relieved to be able to go out and shop again so have stopped taking notice of the measures.

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"Before the lockdown things everyone had got into the routine of social distancing and sanitising, but now they've perhaps lost focus."

Ben Allen, from Silvers Jewellers on the same road, said: "We had one spell today, around lunchtime, that was really manic, otherwise it wasn't that busy."

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For others, however, trade was quieter than anticipated.

Anita Barry, of Gallyons on Red Lion Street, said: "The city certainly wasn't as busy as I was expecting it to be. I think perhaps people are being a little cautious to begin with.

"It certainly wasn't the 'Wild Wednesday' some of us had anticipated, but I do hope we get back to where we were in October where people were getting comfortable with new measures and that when we do people shop local."

And Leanne Fridd, of Bookbugs and Dragontales on Timber Hill, added; "We are really pleased to have that face to face contact again, but the first day was more steady than anything."

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