An independent jewellery store in England has reported a successful return to the high street as it’s opened the doors for repairs and Click and Collect.
While customers can’t physically come into store, Robert Openshaw Fine Jewellery in Cleckheaton has created a counter at the entrance where people can book an appointment to pick up stock or drop pieces off for servicing.
Managing director, Mark Hepworth, shares:“Following revised guidance from the UK Government, I installed an appointment booking app to my website and sent a link by text message to customers with uncollected repairs. Immediately bookings kept pinging through. Then, using social media I opened it up to the public.”
Services are limited to collecting online orders, booking in/out repairs, insurance valuations and batteries and straps.
Explaining how this works practically, Hepworth tells Professional Jeweller: “As customers arrive for their appointment they press a doorbell and we open the door. The counter is fixed to the door frame with sneeze screen above. It works well for us due to our recessed entrance porch.
“Guidance for non-essential Click & Collect is that the customer must not enter the business premises.”
All items booked in/out are put into a portable/rechargeable UV sanitiser box before being transferred to a bigger, more professional one in the jewellery store’s workshop.
Hand sanitizers and PPE is also in use for both staff and customers.
On the reason for re-booting the bricks and mortar business this way, the MD says: “The thought process behind this was that I didn’t want Boris to say, ‘Right, tomorrow shops can all reopen”. The result would have been unnecessary queues outside my store and given jewellers can spend considerable time with individual customers I felt a booking system to be the best option guaranteeing my customers are seen on time and without the worry of waiting with valuables or in queues on a narrow pavement outside.
“So far, response has been excellent. Really positive comments on social media and at the counter when customers have used the service. My in-store jewellery workshops are now working again, although at a reduced staffing and we can deal with any outstanding issues that were open prior to lockdown in an effective way without upsetting the customer.”
The business is also ready for June 15, when customers can finally come into the store again.
Hepworth is confident customers will easily be able to be 2 metres apart, especially with the door entry system allowing staff to control social distancing with a click of a button.