'It’s good to see familiar faces' Retailers share their experience of the first day back after lockdown
Corinna Collier, who runs Mexican goods shop Caoba on Raeburn Place, has been able to take her three staff off furlough.
She said: “It’s been fairly steady today, despite the rain. I think everyone feels quite happy to be back – it’s been nice to see a lot of the regulars back, it’s good to see familiar faces.
“I took one of my staff members off furlough a month ago to help get everything ready, then the others are back now too. When lockdown was announced, I had one sort of emotional wobble, then with the homeschooling as well – teaching Higher maths to my son – I didn’t have too much time to worry about it. It has been a bit of a relief to get back to normality.”
“While we’ve been closed, we’ve been doing more online orders than we would usually, it’s been a local spike and overall, much busier online than usual.
“Since we opened this morning, it feels like people are being a little bit quicker, they aren’t really browsing for as long and are being a bit more decisive about what they want.”
Across the road, Karen Heriot, owner of Daisy Cheynes gift shop, used lockdown as a chance to create the modern website she had wanted to introduce for a long time.
She said: “We have had time to do a lot of work on our website, which was badly needed. We really overhauled our online shop.“We kept going by offering free delivery within Edinburgh, whether it was a big order or just a single greetings card. We’ve also had quite a lot of orders from outwith Edinburgh, that’s really increased and we’re hoping to focus more on that.
“Today has been a bit quiet, I would say we had about 15 customers this morning, but considering the rain, it hasn’t been too bad, I can’t complain. I think everyone is just very pleased that the shops are back.
“People are paying mainly with contactless. We will take cash if someone wants to, but so far it’s all been contactless.
“We’ve renovated the shop while we have been closed, so it looks a bit different, but we took the opportunity to wipe down all of the shelves and clean everything. We also have a perspex screen up in front of the till and hand sanitiser at the door, while we’re limiting the number of people to three households at a time.”