Chamber Chat with Vicky Lofthouse

June 30, 2020 - 12:00am

Chamber Chat with Vicky Lofthouse

We HAVE to get this right!

I am not embarrassed to say that I am a complete and utter shopaholic, ask anyone! But maybe not my husband he will just roll his eyes!! I find it enjoyable, therapeutic, and relaxing. In fact, it is one of my top 3 favourite past times.

Before the country went into lockdown, I would be found most days in shops. But not necessarily the shops you are thinking of, yes, I love a good handbag and a new top but I am mostly found nowadays in garden centres, home stores, and DIY shops. Not least because we are currently renovating our house.

I was genuinely upset when the non-essential retailers were forced to close and my daily shopping trips turned into a once weekly essential visit to the supermarket. It also meant the pleasure I got from shopping stopped and instead it was replaced by worry and fear. And I honestly don’t think I was the only one feeling that way and I still do.

So I want to use my Chamber Chat this week to speak directly to the retailers and businesses in our district.

As more and more shops and businesses start to re-open, we see more and more customers start to return. Which is great and I know North Lancashire will bounce back but we have to get it right, first time around, our health and economic recovery depends on it.

When I enter a shop or business my safety becomes the shop keeper/business owners responsibility and it is no good being ignorant of the situation. People will notice which retailers and businesses are caring for their staff and customers and they will let you know by returning or not, by spending or not.

So, ask yourself, have you done enough to make your premises COVID Secure? Do your staff have the right personal protective equipment available? Are you providing washing stations or sanitisers for your customers? Maybe you need a one-way system or to limit the number of people in the store.

Going forward I not only want to enjoy shopping again but I want to feel safe and secure.

For help and advice on becoming COVID Secure visit https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus-business-reopening

This Chamber Chat is brought to you by Vicky Lofthouse, CEO of Lancaster and District Chamber of Commerce.