Florists hope for blooming top trade as shoppers go local
A florist has been in selling her blooms for 25 years and is hoping that people will support their local shops as they begin to reopen.
Julie Brooks, 52, is the owner of Lavender Florist in Penkridge.
She said: "Although the first week was tricky in lockdown it soon picked up and we've still been busy.
"On Monday we reopened and have made a lot of changes.
"There used to be a stand where people could choose their own flowers, but that has had to be moved and we have to pick them for the customer.
"We have barriers up, posters, stickers on the floor and hand sanitiser. Staff are also wearing perspex shields and masks - we have had a couple of vulnerable people come back so need to be safe.
"We are still workout out teething troubles as we have only got so much space in the shop, so we are seeing where we can improve."
During lockdown, Julie adapted the business to ensure she could continue trading while respecting social distancing rules.
The store launched a prepaid contactless delivery and an order and collection service so customers could pre-order their blooms and pick them up during a timed slot outside the shop from the side entrance.
Retailers in the Staffordshire village are hoping customers remain loyal as they begin to welcome them back into stores.
She added: "100 per cent people are keeping it more local now, even my family and friends have said instead of going into town shopping that they are going to more independent shops and I'm hopeful this will keep going.
"I think there is lower risk in shopping local and we have a lot of safety measures in place and are always learning new ways to adapt the business.
"Penkridge has such a lot to offer, so many diverse shops, butchers, bakeries and they are all putting measures in in place.
"The more people who shop local the more new businesses that will start to open."