King's Lynn businesses learn to adapt in lockdown
Town centre businesses in Lynn are having to adapt due to the coronavirus lockdown restrictions as footfall has been severely reduced for many.
Non-essential retailers have been forced to close, but some stores and eateries are offering delivery and collection services.
Liquor and Loaded, and WaffleOpolis are both operated by the same owners and have been offering kerbside collections during lockdown, in addition to deliveries.
This means drivers can pull up and hoot their horn so staff can run out their orders for them.
This is done while wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) and gloves.
A member of the management team at Liquor and Loaded said: “A lot of people prefer the kerbside collection because it is quicker than delivery.
“When we first went into lockdown last year, we introduced deliveries and ever since we have carried it out with Covid compliance.”
The most popular dishes during lockdown have been meat trays and burgers, and staff are exploring the option of reintroducing the limited edition party packs which proved to be a success on New Year’s Eve.
Businesses which are able to stay fully open have seen footfall dramatically decrease in the town centre during the lockdown period.
A staff member at Van Pelt Pork Butchers on Norfolk Street said they had around 90 customers enter the shop on Saturday, when they would typically see more like 200 on a weekend day.
He added: “In my opinion, in this sort of trade, people are not coming through the town centre to visit us, whereas before people would walk around to do their shopping and it was a lot busier for us.
“Deliveries and collections have been a lot busier and we are holding our own. We just have to get through it.”
Those who have visited the shop have complied with the Covid regulations and worn face masks at all times.
Fast food restaurant company Wimpy has only been open for deliveries and takeaway but owner Raj Bhangal said 90 per cent of the eatery’s customers are sitting, so it has been a struggle for them.
This has been particularly frustrating after the recent refurbishment work at the New Conduit Street venue which saw the building completely gutted then redecorated.
Mr Bhangal said: “It’s a terrible time at the moment. We will be fine, but the longer this goes on for, the harder it will be.”
A staff member at M&A Fresh Fruit and Vegetables on Broad Street added: “It’s been difficult trading with people self-isolating. The deliveries are keeping us going. They are more than half of our sales.”
The business delivers up to 10 miles from Lynn, having introduced the service during the first lockdown.
For a full list of businesses open in Lynn town centre, visit https://www.discoverkingslynn.com/discover-local