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Long queues as many King's Lynn shops re-open after lockdown

Hundreds of shoppers are out and about in Lynn today as many retailers open their doors for the first time in nearly three months.

Non-essential retailers have been shut since the coronavirus lockdown began in late March.

And, in scenes perhaps more reminiscent of the Boxing Day sales, there were long queues outside several of the town’s big name shops as trading began this morning.

Shoppers waiting outside Primark.. (36661029)
Shoppers waiting outside Primark.. (36661029)

Primark reportedly opened its High Street shop half an hour earlier than scheduled, at 8.30am, because of the numbers waiting to get in.

Elsewhere, shoppers lined up over several hundred yards to get into Sports Direct in the Vancouver Quarter, while there was also a wait to enter both TK Maxx and H&M, among others.

And, all around, there were signs of the new reality with social distancing guidance, hand sanitiser and notices urging people not to touch stock wherever possible.

The new normal in Youngsters World (36661269)
The new normal in Youngsters World (36661269)

Staff working at some of the town's independent retailers were also thrilled to be back at work.

Asked how she felt about her shop being open once more, Bernadette Chappell, who works at The Deck of Cards said: "Hooray. Fantastic. It's been a long three months."

As in most stores, customers are being asked to use hand sanitiser when they enter and numbers inside the premises are being limited.

Products which customers touch but do not purchase will also be taken away and cleaned before they go back on display.

Bernadette Chappell was thrilled to be back at work at The Deck of Cards (36661497)
Bernadette Chappell was thrilled to be back at work at The Deck of Cards (36661497)

Meanwhile, Anne-Marie Fitzgerald, who runs the Cafe Moccha coffee shop in New Conduit Street, said remodelling her business as a takeaway only operation, cost around £5,000.

Having re-opened last week, she estimates that her trade is currently at around half its normal level, a level which will "keep us going" in the short term.

But she believes that bringing people back together is even more important than being profitable.

The High Street in King's Lynn was busy on Monday morning.. (36661096)
The High Street in King's Lynn was busy on Monday morning.. (36661096)

She said: "We've had to endure this time but we've come out the other end. There are a lot who haven't.

"Money comes and money goes, but lives don't."

While many shops have re-opened today, others will welcome customers again later this week, including Clintons which is opening on Wednesday, despite fears over the future of its High Street shop in recent weeks.

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