Posted: 06.04.21 at 16:34 by Alex Jones
Local shops and market traders in Penarth are making their final preparations for reopening on April 12th when customers will once again be returning to their favourite shops to browse in person for the first time in months.
High Street champion Dr. Jackie Mulligan who founded the local shopping campaign and platform ShopAppy.com says it is a hugely significant moment for every local trader:
“It feels like a liberation day for high street shops, for customers and for the neighbourhoods that surround them.
"These businesses rely on people coming through the door and the sense of community they create.”
Kirsty at Penarth’s Allen Sadler Hair Studios said:
“After such a long time of lockdown closure, we were delighted to hear the news that we are able to reopen our salon doors, once again.
“The team are especially pleased not only to see one another, but we couldn’t wait to engage with our loved clients who have been waiting so patiently.
“We take for granted how much interaction with one another we need. Who really realised how much the feel-good factor meant after having our hair done.
"All these things were so missed, and now we couldn’t wait to do what we do best.”
“The salon was exceptionally busy the first couple of weeks after opening last time but we are so lucky to have a large premise to accommodate all. It will be great to be back again!”
Will at Studio 64 commented: “We’ve cleaned the shop and everything is looking beautiful. The stock is really looking excellent. Are we ready to open up on the 12th April – You bet!”
Using the ShopAppy.com platform, scores of local shops in Penarth and in other towns across the UK have re-created a high street shopping experience online.
It has given independent retailers a much-needed place in the online boom and provided a COVID-secure service for their customers.
By grouping together, they have created an online high streets, where people can browse, book and buy online through all their local businesses…all in one place in one easy transaction.
After choosing and ordering what they want online, shoppers can even collect everything they have bought from just one of the shops they buy from. It is a very local ‘click and collect’.
You don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone
High streets have always been a social hub. Before social media it is where people met and gossiped.
It still is somewhere for people to meet and chat. Many businesses are looking forward to that hustle and bustle again.
Angelina Hall, who leads Penarth Business Group and her own glass design business said “There are so many reasons why I’m excited to see Penarth high street open again.
To see our wonderful Independent traders do what they do best, see the hustle and bustle our town has missed this past year, and be able to get back to some sense of normality! Good luck to all the Indies preparing to open in a few weeks’ time!”
Jackie Mulligan dismisses arguments that the high street is dead. “Far from it. There has been talk of the pandemic marking the end of the high street, but all the wonderful entrepreneurs who run shops provide a brilliant service.
"That’s why we see April 12th as the start of a revival because local has come to the fore, and local shops are friendly, special AND now more convenient than ever.
It will be great to see shops and hospitality bouncing back together. There is so much on your doorstep from the local butcher... And all the local cafes, pubs and restaurants make Penarth feel like ‘home’ in many ways.
"You don’t get that from online giants. All these small businesses would certainly be missed if they disappeared.”