After yesterday’s update from Downing Street, Ellie Sanderson shares her views on when bridal boutiques should be considering reopening their doors…
“I am sure most of you are left scratching your head after yesterdays announcement from Downing Street. Without getting into a political debate on Boris Johnsons’ leadership style, I do want to share some thoughts on his address to the nation and how that impacts on us.
Boris outlined the changes starting today and he then went on to unveil the step after that. He said, “The next stage at the earliest would be 1st of June.” He went on to outline the re opening of schools for primary pupils and those in their final years before exams. He said SOME SHOPS could re-open but he cautioned this would only happen if it was supported by the science and if social distancing was in place. He also said a lot of things had to go right before that could happen.
For me it seems pretty clear that SOME SHOPS are not Bridal shops and that we fall somewhere between non-essential retail and hospitality / personal care.
SOME SHOPS are those shops that can protect their team and their clients.
SOME SHOPS are those shops that can enact social distancing measures.
I honestly didn’t expect BJ to say all was on track but the 1st of June is too soon and also totally dependent on everything else going to plan and not another spike happen with infections.
I am desperate to get back to work, trust me I have had trial runs in my shop, zoom chats with “brides to be” but the 1st of June just seems too much of a risk at this stage. Can you imagine a bride tracing back her Covid -19 infection to your boutique? I fear that we have all become so de-sensitized to this situation and got used to the figures of up to 500 people dying a day. Some countries are now reporting a second spike, as I type there is a second spike in China, South Korea and Germany is feeling the need to re-enter lockdown. We need to trust our instincts on this and mine are saying 1st of June is too soon and certainly NOT right for Bridal.
I know this is hurting, I know we are all worried about the lack of sales and I know there are sleepless nights and copious amounts of wine drinking to cope with this.
I have however decided that early July will be my target date and I needed a target. I am getting ready for that date. I am getting my team geared up and my on line diary is open. It feels good to have that target and if it moves forward or back, so be it. We will be more than ready. I have my protocols in place, my diary is re formatted and mid June the target. I will only physically open the doors when the time is right for my team and me.
If you have a waiting list of brides then book them into your diary, give them hope but do use a giant disclaimer that the appointment could move but get them booked in now I say.
Trust your instincts on opening dates and do what’s right for you and don’t be pushed into opening too early because you fear your competitors will open first.
Fools rush in, brides will be looking for Boutiques to open their doors safely, they will trust and respect those shops who can show that they have taken time to put safety measures in place.
We can furlough till the end of June and having just read the 50 pages I think we are realistically looking at the 4th of July.
Be one of those shops that brides admire for our attention to detail in your re opening nog the foolhardy ones that rush to open.
Good luck everyone and stay safe