Contributed by EACH Children's Hospice
8/06/2020 - EACH Children's Hospice
East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH) is to once again welcome customers at five of its Norfolk shops, in a phased reopening plan the charity hopes will eventually restore the pre-lockdown success of its high street portfolio.
EACH has 43 shops across the region and has been the second-fastest growing charity retailer in the country for the last two years, also ranking highly for income and profit.
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. The government has now given the go ahead for non-essential shops to reopen from Monday, 15 June, but EACH wants to be sure it can balance the implementation of new safety precautions, the needs of staff and volunteers, and the commerciality of its shops before reopening them all.
The first five to reopen their doors will be EACH’s shops in Plumstead Road, Unthank Road and Bowthorpe Main Centre, all in Norwich, as well as Poringland and Long Stratton. EACH will also be reopening its eBay and Amazon outlets.
Sarah Throssell, EACH Acting Head of Retail, said: “Although our high streets are going to look and feel very different, we can’t tell you how much we’re looking forward to seeing customers again. Staff of the first five shops to reopen have returned from furlough for training this week and key preparation next week.
“We strive for our shops to be loved community outlets and we intend to give our customers the warmest possible welcome back given the restrictions that will need to be in place.
“Each of our shops will reopen gradually, as and when it is safe and practical to do so, and news of reopening dates will appear on our website.
“We will kindly ask everyone who comes to shop to follow the guidance and thank them for their patience and support. It makes such a big difference in the lives of some of the region’s most vulnerable families, helping children and young people with life-threatening conditions to receive care, and relatives to receive vital support.”
The measures that will be in place at EACH shops to ensure the safety of staff, volunteers and customers include:
• Shops will trade from 9.30am to 4.30pm, Monday to Saturday and 10am to 4pm on Sundays for those that are open seven days. This will 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 will be restricted. There will be a different number allowed in each outlet depending on size.
• Customers will be asked to follow social distancing guidelines.
• There will be hand sanitiser stations at the front of all shops for customers to use on entry and exit.
• Changing rooms will be 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 will be encouraged to make contactless payment.
EACH will be 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.
To fill the income gap caused by the closure of EACH’s shops, as well as postponement and cancellation of fundraising events, the charity set up a fundraising appeal that has now topped £500,000.
To donate to EACH now go to www.justgiving.com/campaign/each-covid19. For the latest on the reopening of EACH shops visit www.each.org.uk/shopopenings.
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