We are open 24/7. Twenty four hours a day, seven days a week thanks to the shop website.
But we weren’t open 24/7. The 24th of July 2020.
This is why.
After four months of lockdown in Leicester, not including an all too brief fortnight when non essential shops could open, and with a new local lockdown there remain practical and common sense barriers.
We are not alone, bars, cafes, hairdressers and restaurants remain closed, as they have since March.
But wait, shops like ours were told they could open again this week. When I say ‘told’ it was more like rumour and speculation within an information drought.
But there is another rub.
We ask. How can people visit a non essential shop if they should only take essential journeys? The people of Leicester have been told to stay at home. Working at home is the preference. A luxury many don’t have.
We should only travel to work if we cannot work at home. We should walk or cycle or drive. Avoid public transport.
One should only shop for essential supplies, or venture out for health appointments or exercise. People in surrounding areas have been told not to travel into the city. We should not leave it. Which is unenforceable advice it seems.
So, guess what? Most people have been sensible and headed that public health advice. That means the city centre has returned to its quietest once again.
The official advice has been clarified. You can only visit a non essential shop whilst on an essential journey.
So, we could open for the office workers that aren’t in town, the service industry workforce who are still at home, and the county folk who aren’t travelling in. But that doesn’t make much sense. Perhaps a passing jogger would pop in and buy a desk, for their home working, and carry it home? Maybe someone on their bike would like to purchase a dinner set and keep their fingers crossed it makes the perilous journey home?
It doesn’t seem likely. Instead, we will carry on building our online trading and deliveries, click and collect if that suits our customers, and on screen in store virtual shopping appointments. Our social media will continue to engage and excite our loyal customers. And we are very grateful for that. It’s been wonderful to see them on their doorsteps during local delivery rounds in the afternoons.
We eagerly await the relaxing of local lockdown, the return of the city’s vibrant cafe culture and our customers beginning to return to familiar routines and entering through our open doors.
We will be ready, 24/7.