East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH) is to reopen a further 18 shops, with those that unlocked doors last Monday (6 July) recording buoyant first day sales.
The following locations are set to see EACH shops reopen on Monday, 27 July:
Cambridgeshire – Soham and Whittlesey
Norfolk – North Walsham, Aylsham Road (Norwich), Attleborough, Wymondham, Dereham, Diss, Swaffham and Thetford
Suffolk – Bungay, Leiston, Felixstowe Road (Ipswich), Meredith Road (Ipswich), Halesworth and Sudbury
Essex – Dovercourt
EACH’s shop in Felixstowe will open a week later on Monday, 3 August. That will leave just seven of the charity’s 43 shops shut. It hopes to reopen those next month.
EACH has been the second-fastest growing charity retailer in the country for the last two years. Since the closure of its shops at the end of March the good cause has been losing out on £100,000 a week in income.
On 15 June it reopened five shops in Norfolk to assess how well it could balance the implementation of new safety precautions, the needs of staff and volunteers, and commerciality. Those initial reopenings were a success and that success continued when EACH reopened another 13 shops last Monday. Highlights from the first day of trading included:
- An increased number of donations at the Cambridge shop in Histon Road, with 262 bags dropped off, about 100 more than usual.
- Sales totalling around £1,200 in Framlingham, three times the normal amount of income for a Monday at this time of year, as well as an increased number of donations, with 160 bags dropped off.
- Sales being 70% higher at Cromer (£670 taken) and double at Holt (£509 taken) compared to the same day last year.
Sarah Throssell, EACH Acting Head of Retail, said: “Our initial reopening phase involving five shops delivered income far in excess of anticipated levels and gave us greater confidence to move forward. I’m absolutely delighted the start of phase two has been another resounding success. Our high streets are looking and feeling very different these days, but we’re working very hard to try and maintain our shops’ positions as much-loved community outlets. This means making the safety of our customers, volunteers and staff a priority, so our teams are spending five days in our shops before they open, training, cleaning, changing layouts and restocking with fresh displays. With the patience of our generous customers and loyal donors, we’re starting to once again play the role we need to in helping the region’s most vulnerable families get the vital care and support they need.”
The measures in place at EACH shops to ensure the safety of staff, volunteers and customers include:
- Shops are trading from 9.30am to 4.30pm, Monday to Saturday and 10am to 4pm on Sundays for those that are open seven days. This is to allow safe setting up and closing down.
- To ensure a safe shopping experience, the number of customers allowed in a shop at any one time is restricted. There is a different number allowed in each outlet depending on size.
- Customers are asked to follow social distancing guidelines.
- There are hand sanitiser stations at the front of all shops for customers to use on entry and exit.
- Changing rooms are closed. However, an exchange or refund will be given if goods are returned to any EACH shop within 28 days. The original price ticket must be in place and customers will need the original receipt.
- Customers are encouraged to make contactless payment.
EACH is welcoming donations. It says there may be special arrangements in place to accept them so that donors are not required to enter shops and also that shops may temporarily stop accepting donations at certain times of day due to restrictions on handling donated goods, and the extra time needed to process them. The charity is still asking people not to leave donations outside if shops are closed as they are likely to become damaged and result in a disposal cost for the good cause.
For the latest on the reopening of EACH shops, as well as a video showing what to expect when visiting, go to www.each.org.uk/shopopenings