Excitement and relief as shops, salons and gyms reopen in Sleaford area

There was a collective sigh of relief as non-essential shops, gyms, beauty salons and barbers were allowed to reopen on Monday in the next step of the lofting of lockdown restrictions in Sleaford.

The Sleaford Standard ran a poll on what people were most looking forward to and getting a haircut was top of most people’s lists.

Sure enough there were early morning queues of keen customers outside some of the town’s barber shops on Monday and other shops reported a brisk trade with lost of customers happy to see them re-open.

Lorraine Buckley, who runs Lorraine’s Childrenswear in the Market Place 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 is lovely to have customers back in store being able to look at the new stock and new clothing available.”

Bellissimo Boutique. Owner, Wendy Hanslip. EMN-211204-175337001

She said it felt like she was starting all over again having had to sell off all her stock at the beginning of lockdown, meaning she has been busily restocking everything.

She said: “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: “I am hopeful that we see a good amount of footfall and trade for all the businesses in Sleaford. I think customers were looking forward to us all opening back up.”

Queues at VIP Barbers on Carre Street in Sleaford on Monday morning. EMN-211204-175516001

Neighbouring ladieswear shop owner Wendy Hanslip of Bellissimo Boutique said they had been 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.

“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 is run by the Town Council which welcomes back all its traders this week.

Town clerk Lisa Tidy said: “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 personal trainers, bringing their total to seven.