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All ‘non-essential’ retailers including clothes shops, electrical stores, car showrooms, travel agents and betting shops, are now closed along with venues like cinemas, dance studios and soft play centres, restaurants, cafes and bars, and hairdressers, barbers and beauty salons.
So, with the second lockdown due to last until at least December 2, how are Liverpool’s businesses coping?
The Guide spoke to 7 across the city to find out …
Josh Roberts, owner of East River on Allerton Road, says they’re definitely more prepared than back in March. “We introduced takeaway and collection in the first lockdown and it was really successful so this time around we’re offering delivery and collection Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The disadvantage this time is there won’t be as much walking footfall as there was in the first lockdown due to the weather but we can still bring everyone’s favourite East River cocktails to their door!”
John Douglas, Operations Manager at Graffiti Spirits Group Hospitality, says a having an earlier lockdown has given them time to perfect systems which should make things run even more smoothly this time. Maluco on Castle Street will be doing takeaway and delivery on its award-winning pizzas on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. “We’ve had notice and much more time to plan and prepare. Since the first lockdown, we’ve been working on systems to make ordering quick and easy for our guests.”
Nicola Byrne, who co-owns Urban Calm, says the first lockdown was fraught, trying to close the business, set up an e-commerce site, maintaining social media, and applying for loans and grants, but this time there’s a different mindset.
“Of course I’m worried, we have only been fully open for 11 weeks, but our business is COVID safe so the minute we are allowed to reopen we will, and 80% furlough has given us some comfort in terms of our staff. We’re taking this time to work on self-development, staff training, and we’re carrying out a mental health and wellbeing audit to see what we can put in place to improve. We are installing new client software systems, carrying out maintenance on all the stores and putting up the Christmas deccies for when we open on December 3.
Resurrection is a fashion and vintage legend in Liverpool, and it’s a big presence on Bold Street. Owner Rob Pritchard says a second lockdown will see them focus online, and especially click and collect. “We are more prepared for the second lockdown because we developed the web side of the business during the first lockdown.
“During this lockdown we’re concentrating on the website more again, specifically with the aim of developing the click and collect side and we’ve started a campaign on social media to promote that. Our click and collect is available between 12pm and 3pm Monday till Saturday and as we get closer to Black Friday I’ll look at extend these opening hours.
“People can also buy directly through our Instagram page as well as through the website.”
Andrew Spencer, owner of Lock & Key on Duke Street, says they’ll be fully closing this time rather than staying open for takeaway like they did in the first lockdown.
“Our fixed costs are relatively low and with the furlough announcement that’s reassurance for our staff.
“We’ve found that most guests who have had to cancel bookings are moving their dates ahead rather than asking for refunds which gives us future dates when we know we’ve got people coming instead of a blank calendar so even psychologically that’s a big help.
“We saw how busy it was in summer with people just wanting to get a change of scenery so we hope we’ll see that again. As soon as we’re open without restrictions, I think we’ll see an upturn for the industry, it’s just a question of staying nimble until then.”
City hair salon owner Barbara Daley says: “If we’ve learned anything from the past six months it’s that life has to go on, and it’s best to take every day as it comes either professionally or in your personal life.
“We’ve decided there’s no use worrying, we’re all in the same boat, so we may as well take the lockdown with a smile and use the time to get fit for the Christmas rush.
“Our clients have been great. They all understand that, for the foreseeable future, this is what’s going to happen until there is a vaccine. Nobody wants to catch the virus, so a client getting a phone call telling them that we’re closing for four weeks may be an inconvenience, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.
“For the next four weeks we won’t be going the gym, or the shops, it’ll be walks round the park, nice home-cooked meals and watching box sets on television. Nothing wrong with that is there?”
“Many clients are booking in for Christmas already so we’ll be encouraging that and our online store to buy skin and hair products.”
Mini Madams was about to celebrate its second birthday and open its second location in River Island’s Liverpool store in March when it had to close its doors and refund hundreds of pounds in deposits for parties. “It was a traumatic time,” says co-owner Sharon Doyle.
“But we brainstormed with the team and pivoted the business – we used Zoom to hold online craft workshops and birthday parties so children didn’t lose out. We also created Beat the Boredom packs filled with arts and crafts which we sold online, we kept our social media really active and we focused on developing Mini Madams Merch: a clothing and accessory range.
“Thankfully we bounced back OK after the first lockdown and this time we will go virtual again but we do need to socialise … having fun together is what underpins everything in Mini Madams.”
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