Wednesday, 12 August 2020

Shops will stay closed following lockdown

THREE shops in Goring have shut following the coronavirus lockdown while a fourth will only trade online.

They include Ferry Lane Florist, which has stood on the corner of Ferry Lane and Manor Road for 14 years.

The shop arranged and sold flowers for a range of functions including funerals and weddings and also stocked houseplants, cards, and gifts with a home delivery option.

The other two which have closed are the Kutz UK hair salon on the corner of Station Road and Red Cross Road, which opened last year, and the Station Coffee Shop at Goring station.

Faulkner and Wells, an upmarket homeware and gift shop in High Street, will continue trading exclusively over the internet.

The business, which opened at the former Ruby Pepper womenswear premises in December 2018, is run by Goring businesswoman Caroline Pierrepont and her stepdaugher Tiyah Hernandez Pierrepont.

Other businesses said they were coping in the aftermath of lockdown, which began on March 23 and ended for “non-essential” shops on June 15.

The Inspiration gift shop in High Street requires all visitors to sanitise their hands while stock and fixtures are regularly cleaned.

Owners Jeanne and Kevin Hunter furloughed staff and received a Government relief grant but lost income as directors because they couldn’t furlough themselves.

Mrs Hunter said: “We pounced on the opportunity to reopen. Sometimes it feels like cleaning is the only job I do but our footfall is healthy because customers feel safe.

“We’re not doing as well as usual but it’s better than we expected. People prefer coming here than going to London or Oxford because we haven’t had hundreds of shoppers passing through.

“People have been ordering more from online giants recently but hopefully they’ll get back in the habit of buying locally, which is investing back in the community.”

The Goring Village Café, also in High Street, re-opened when the hospitality sector was allowed on July 4. It has cut its number of tables to allow social distancing and staff work in segregated “bubbles”.

Owner Vivienne Lee said: “We had good attendance from the start. People were keen to see others again.

“It’s early days and we’re all worried about a second spike over winter. We’re focusing on getting to next spring and summer for now.”

Goring Hardware in Red Cross Road, which stayed open throughout as an “essential” business, has fared better than normal.

Despite the rules being relaxed, it is maintaining its system in which shoppers queue outside a safe distance apart and staff bring orders to the door. This will be upheld until it is clear that a second wave of the outbreak isn’t likely.

Owner Tanya Brown said: “We’ve been exceedingly busy with a significant increase in trade as we were supplying everyone who was keeping themselves busy.

“Everyone was painting their fences or shed, doing decking and things like that. Compost was the new toilet roll — you couldn’t get it for love nor money.”

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