Independent business owners relieved to see ‘steady flow’ of customers as Northampton shopping centre reopens
“I think everyone is just happy to be out and I’m happy they are out too”
As lockdown restrictions ease and shops reopen, independent business owners are pleased to see customers returning.
Non-essential businesses across the country were able to reopen today (April 12), alongside personal care services and pub gardens.
Northampton town centre was buzzing with excited shoppers searching for their retail fix and businesses based at Weston Favell Shopping Centre were pleased to see a ‘steady flow’ of customers.
The shopping centre, which has remained open during lockdown for essential shops such as Tesco and Wilko, was able to open non-essential retail such as Peacocks, Card Factory and The Works, as well as independent businesses like barbers, hair salons and other retail outlets.
Jackie Hopkinson, sales assistant at Weston Favell Jewellers, said: “It’s good to be back and welcoming customers, who have all been really happy and pleased we’re open again.
“There’s been a steady flow as people have been out spending their money.
“I had one customer say she had to go home as she’d spent too much.
“We’re hoping it will continue to pick up and we can crack on.”
Although the centre was not crowded, there was an increase in footfall compared to when only essential services were open, which benefited small businesses.
Wendy McCausland, owner of Wendy’s sweetshop, added: “It’s so nice to have real customers back in the shop.
“We’ve had a lot of regular customers coming back, which is great as I was only ten months in when it all started.
“Monday is usually a really quiet day for me, so trade has not been too bad considering it is a Monday.
“I think everyone is just happy to be out and I’m happy they are out too.
“We even had people in who had been to Rushden Lakes and then came here for sweets.”
Fellow Weston Favell business owner, Janice Strachan of Flowers Just For You, continued: “I’m really happy to be back. I was so excited this morning.
“It’s been OK - there has been a steady flow of customers and they have all been really positive and glad to see us back.
“We’ve built our Facebook over lockdown and we have a lot of followers now, so hopefully they will start coming down to see us, but we have mainly always relied on passing trade.”
Follow more reopening coverage on Northampton Chronicle & Echo.
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