This week has seen a growing list of suppliers reopen their doors in order to help their customers still trading online.
A little over a week ago many of the UK’s leading manufacturers and suppliers shut their doors in order to protect staff and follow government guidelines.
This did, however, leave retailers still trading online in a difficult position.
Now a few of the companies previously closed have re-opened in a limited capacity to support jewelers all the while adhering to government rules and ensuring staff are working in a safe environment.
Gecko Jewellery has reopened with minimal staff so that it can fulfil online orders from trade customers.
The business is now able to offer free direct dispatch and engraving services, alongside providing online marketing help with imagery and social media content.
Gecko’s general manager, Ruth Jackson, explains: “In order to do this we have a small number of staff on site each day, all following strict social distancing and hygiene policies and happy to support our retailers where they can.”
She adds: “The remainder of our team are working from home or on furloughed leave but we are all itching to get back to ‘business as usual’.”
British manufacturer Hockley Mint has also reopened its factory in Birmingham with skeleton staff, for just two days a week.
The company shares: “After careful planning and consideration, Hockley Mint is now open and fully operational for two days a week on Mondays and Tuesdays. The safety and wellbeing of our staff is paramount, which is why we are operating with a skeleton staff, with someone in each department.
“We understand the crucial importance of constant communication with our staff. We are committed to ensuring they feel comfortable and safe at work, while also catching up with our loyal team who are isolating at home. We know that this is a tough time for everyone and we are doing our best to maintain the health and safety of our team while helping our customers with their orders.”
The Birmingham Assay Office has also announced that it will re-opened some of its operations next week, again with minimal staff.
Services available on Thursday April 16 and Friday April 17 include hallmarking and AnchorCert Pro test, while the customer service counter will also be open from 10am-2pm on those days.
The company states: “While non-essential businesses have been forced to close, Government guidance states other businesses should continue to operate if they can do so safely.
“To support the trade, and fulfil our statutory obligations, whilst operating in a safe environment for our staff, we will be re-opening some of our operations, with skeleton staff, for Hallmarking and AnchorCert Pro testing on Thursday 16th April and Friday 17th April.
“The safety of our staff and our customers are our priority, and we shall continue to review and follow the guidelines and advice provided by the Government.”
Strict social distancing measures will be in place at the counter, which customers are asked to observe at all times. There will be clear markings on the floor to adhere to the 2-metre distance rules as well as a one-way queuing system. The Assay Office will also provide hand hygiene stations, which customers will be required to use.
To help protect staff, the assay office will only accept card payments.
IMAGE CREDIT: HOCKLEY MINT