Chesterfield non-essential retailers gear up for re-opening
With April 12 on the horizon, Chesterfield’s non-essential retailers are gearing up for the reopening of their stores as we enter step two of the easing of lockdown.
While the town’s retailers have shown resilience and adapted in the face of adversity, adapting to lockdown with social media promotion, click and collect and online sales, both essential and non-essential retail business owners and shoppers are looking forward to heading back into physical stores once more. To find out more about shopping in Chesterfield and how you can support local independent businesses, please visit: www.chesterfield.co.uk/wereback
Steph Mannion, owner of Steph’s Sustainable Stuff who was named Market Trader of the Year in the 2020 Chesterfield High Street Awards, explained: “As an essential trader on Chesterfield market, I’ve stood throughout the latest lockdown. The market hasn’t been the same without my fellow traders and I’m eager to see them back and feel the market buzzing again.
“It’s more important than ever that we all support our independent retailers, whether that be in shops or on the market, to make sure that our lovely town bounces out of covid restrictions and moves forward into a better future.”
Looking forward to re-opening Laura Jo, Owner of Adorn Jewellers in The Shambles commented: “We are very much looking forward to welcoming our customers back to Adorn when we can. At the moment, we see our lovely shop as the sleeping beauty and we are hoping that when she awakes, people will enjoy visiting again.
“We are very fortunate in Chesterfield to have a fabulous mix of independent shops, bars and restaurants along with some of the bigger familiar high street names. There is no doubt that the world looks different after the pandemic, however the people of Chesterfield are a wonderful community and I have no doubt that our lovely town will continue to thrive with their support.”
Luke Shah, Director of Huckleberry Willow agreed with Laura Jo saying: “I believe the best thing about independent businesses is that they are run by individual people, which gives us and the other great independent businesses in Chesterfield more character and personality. We have had regular customers for over 40 years, which I hope means our customers have a great shopping experience at Huckleberry Willow.”
Mr Shah, who was the winner of last year’s Home, Gifts and Leisure Retailer of the Year category in the Chesterfield High Street Awards, added: “We are looking forward to welcoming our regular, new and old customers back to the shop.”
Theresa Goldsmith of The Goldsmith Clinic is also looking forward to welcoming clients back. She said: “Clients have missed us as much as we have missed them. As a business specialising in wellbeing and health we have had to close at a time when, arguably, people needed our services the most. Within minutes of Boris Johnson announcing the road map out of lockdown, my inbox was full of people requesting appointments. The diary is already full and we have everything crossed that the roadmap for the 12th April goes to plan.”
Like many businesses, social media has been used extensively by The Goldsmith Clinic to keep customers engaged and informed during lockdown.
Laura Jo explained how Adorn has been using social media to remain connected with its customers during lockdown: “We’ve been keeping in touch with our sparkly community online through our YouTube channel and with our Friday night live each week on Facebook. We’ve been so happy with the love and support that our customers have shown us throughout this difficult time but we’re very much looking forward to seeing them in person again.”
Emily Lord, owner of Fred’s Haberdashery agreed, adding: “We are looking forward to welcoming customers back into the shop again and hope people will continue to make use of all the shops and services in the town centre.”
Emily bought the long-established business last year and moved to new, larger premises in the town centre just weeks before lockdown. Despite the setback, the business continued to trade using the click and collect service and has since added a new service.
She explained: “There has been one significant change for us during lockdown and we are thrilled to be reopening with the addition of Fred’s Frames, a bespoke picture framing service. I would like to thank all of our customers that have used the Click and Collect service and extend my warm wishes to all of the other town centre businesses as they reopen.”
Fred’s Haberdashery is just one of a number of non-essential retailers that added a Click and Collect service to their offering during the pandemic.
To support non-essential retail and hospitality businesses during lockdown, Destination Chesterfield dedicated a full page on its website to supporting businesses in the sectors by listing details of how shopper could access online shopping, click and collect and delivery services.
A new web page has since been launched to Destination Chesterfield’s website supporting the partial reopening of the hospitality sector. The page – https://www.chesterfield.co.uk/2021/03/top-tips-for-outdoor-dining-and-activities-in-chesterfield/ – gives details of business in the sector who are providing outdoor dining and activities from 12 April.
Peter Swallow, Chair of Destination Chesterfield commented: “We’re all incredibly excited to welcome shoppers back to the high street and see our town centre thriving once more. Seeing our favourite businesses adapt with online shopping and click and collect services has been inspiring, but shopping in Chesterfield is an experience you just can’t replicate at home.
“We’re encouraging everyone to #LoveChesterfield and support our local high street in what’s such a crucial time for small, local independent businesses – your purchase could make a real difference.”
Neil Johnson, Director – Economic Growth at Chesterfield Borough Council, said: “Our local shops and retailers really need our support at the town centre opens again. Spending a few pounds a week with local businesses will make a massive difference to them. Chesterfield is a fantastic place to shop. We pride ourselves on being a friendly town, with many great independent businesses who are ready to welcome everyone back.”
To find out more about shopping in Chesterfield and how you can support local independent businesses, please visit: www.chesterfield.co.uk/wereback