Sleaford shoppers are eager to pick up their non-essentials as covid lockdown eases

As previously reported, the Sleaford Standard has been running a poll on what people are looking forward to most on Monday as the Government roadmap allows the reopening of pubs and restaurants outdoors, gyms, hair and beauty salons and non-essential shops.

Wendy Hanslip has had to completely restock her Bellissimo Boutique. EMN-210904-182625001

We did a Twitter poll of which aspect of the easing in lockdown restrictions Sleaford area people were most looking forward to and discovered getting back to going shopping for non-essential items came third on their list (20 per cent of the vote).

People were also keen to get back to the gym

Lorraine Buckley, who runs Lorraine’s Childrenswear in the town’s Market Place is also looking forward to reopening on Monday.

Likening Monday to when she opened her shop - Lorraine Buckley of Lorraine's Childrenswear. EMN-210904-182615001

She said: “We’ve been closed now for almost four months and although I’ve been providing a click and collect style service for the balloon side of my business it’ll be lovely to have customers back in store being able to look at the new stock and new clothing available.

“I will still be providing hand sanitisers at the door on entry and also at the till area which I will encourage all customers to use for everyone’s benefit.

“The wearing of face masks will also be encouraged and I urge all customers to please wear one if they are able to when they are in any shop.”

Lorraine said it felt like her first opening day all over again. “I am hopeful that we see a good amount of footfall and trade for all the businesses in Sleaford. I think customers are looking forward to us all opening back up.”

Dan Morris of Sleaford’s New Image Gym in Church Lane is feeling excited and optimistic about the future easing. EMN-210904-182635001

Neighbouring ladieswear shop owner Wendy Hanslip of Bellissimo Boutique said they are working flat out to get the shop ready for the return of her loyal customers.

“Having had to sell off all of our old stock prior to lockdown, it has been a huge task to buy and lay out a shop full of brand new stock with some added new lines,” said Wendy.

“We are almost there now and ready to open our doors on Monday. With an immensely loyal core of customers, we have no fears for the future and look forward to working and supporting Sleaford and the surrounding areas in the years ahead.”

Sleaford’s market will welcome back its traders of non-essential items too this week.

Town Council clerk Lisa Tidy said: “The Town Council are pleased to welcome non-essential traders back to Sleaford Market from April 12. It is great to see a variety of traders in the Market Place, which is welcomed by the residents and visitors to the town, allowing them to shop for essential as well as non-essential goods in the fresh air.

“As more non-essential businesses start to open once again, it is hoped as Sleaford market grows, the footfall in this area will be beneficial to all businesses within the town.

“It has been a difficult time for all businesses and it is a time to support each other as the economy gets up and running.”

Meanwhile Dan Morris of Sleaford’s New Image Gym in Church Lane is feeling excited and optimistic that with the vaccine roll out this will be the last time he has to close his doors.

He said; “I get that same feeling from our members. We’ve got more enquiries and bookings for inductions than we’ve ever had before so we are expecting to be as busy as being covid-secure allows us to be.

“All staff have been in doing a full cleanse and general tidy up and we are more than ready to hit the ground running - for a third time!

Expecting some people to have lost their fitness levels over the last three months of winter lockdown, they have taken on two extra physical training instructors, bringing their total to seven. “Each specialises in different disciplines and areas of exercise,” he said. “We are expecting them to be more than busy.

“I think the majority of our members would have remained in some kind of physical shape, but will be missing the unrivalled atmosphere and camaraderie provided at our gym.”