As jewellers in England begin the one week countdown to trading on the high street again, jewellery shops in the Republic of Ireland have been given permission to reopen their doors today (Monday, June 8).
Independent jewellery retailers in Ireland will pull open their shutters for the first time since the country went into lockdown, alongside the likes of Swarovski and Pandora who have stores in the region.
Talking to Pandora’s sales director Ross Monaghan last week, the team are ready and excited to start trading again in Ireland and then follow suit in England next week.
Providing the R number stays down, and the Government feels confident that the virus is under control, jewellers in England will reopen their doors on June 15.
Many have released statements and shared stories about what their stores will look like post-lockdown. These can be read here: Life after Lockdown.
For jewellery stores in England and Ireland social distancing measures will need to be met, with staff and customers being to to stay 2 meters apart wherever possible.
For some this means only a limited number of shoppers will be allowed in store at once, while others are opting to reopen with a by appointment only system.
Meanwhile shields have been placed on counters, PPE has been ordered and staff training has commenced as the trade prepares to sell jewellery in a ‘new normal’.
Fields the Jewellers, which is opening three of its 14 stores today, revealed there will be sanitisation stations and plexiglass screens fitted at the tables where jewellery is tried on.
Managing director, Noel Coyle, tells the Irish Times: “We will be cleaning the jewellery after every interaction, it will be properly sanitised before going back on the shelves or into cases.”
“We are preparing to adapt as we go,” he continues. “ People are used to queuing outside supermarkets and homeware stores, but it’s going to be different for smaller shops.”
While businesses in England and Ireland have been able to work towards a reopening date, jewellery store owners in Scotland and Wales are still in the dark about when they can trade again.
In light of announcements elsewhere in the UK, the Scottish Retail Consortium is urging the government to unveil a plan for non-essential retailers in Scotland.
David Lonsdale, director of the Scottish Retail Consortium, says: “This is increasingly becoming make-or-break time for retailers across Scotland, as the longer that this lockdown goes on the harder it will be for them to reopen at all. This would have a significant detrimental impact to town centres and high streets, as well as for shopper choice.
“What retailers want most of all is to get back to trading, looking after customers and providing the goods and services we all need and want. Whilst retailers in Northern Ireland and England are in the enviable position of knowing when they are likely to be able to reopen, shopkeepers here in Scotland are somewhat in the dark and don’t have a firm timetable to work towards.”
Still wondering what you need to do to be ready for reopening? Check out our ultimate checklist below: