Antique shop ‘on a mission’ after coronavirus saw sales go to pot
PUBLISHED: 06:00 16 September 2020 | UPDATED: 08:03 16 September 2020
Owners of an antique shop in a historic village has spoken of a “challenging” first year of trading due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Avocet Antiques shop, in Heydon village, is attempting to get used to life after lockdown and adjusting to “the new normal” of running a Covid-secure shop.
The antique shop – located in barns that were converted for business use just over a year ago – has been open since the government allowed small business to trade on June 15.
Since then, owners Phil and Bonnie Royle, have worked hard to make the small unit as safe as possible for customers.
Fastidious cleaning, plenty of fresh air, hand sanitiser, a socially distanced and a fully contactless point of sale are all part of Avocet Antiques’ plan to make people feel safe.
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“It’s not been easy, but we have made the changes and are on a mission to make people feel as safe as possible,” says owner Phil Royle.
“We are taking this extremely seriously and we want our customers to know they are as safe as can be in our clean, airy shopping environment, so they can relax, enjoy looking at our wonderful furniture and interior inspiration items, and give themselves a well-earned antique treat.
“We opened a year ago and have worked so hard to establish a reputation for affordable, quality antique furniture and interiors, through a long winter and then came out of that into a lovely, successful early spring, only to be faced with the challenges of the Coronavirus.”
The pandemic meant that the business was unable to open or trade for three months, but received support from the community in the village.
Mr Royle said: “Without the support of the local and wider community for our business and the other brands here in Heydon, we will struggle to stay afloat.
“Of course, there are more pressing and worrying issues, but we care about what we do and people seem to like it. So we would love to think they would support us in these tough times.”
-Avocet Antiques is open in Heydon every Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday 10am to 4pm.
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