Why are all shops not open in Salisbury?

Why are all shops not open in Salisbury?

Published by Jack Deery at 12:44pm 19th June 2020.

4 minute read

Non-essential businesses were allowed to reopen their doors on Monday (15th June).

Lots were ready for this week, but some stores in Salisbury's city centre are yet to accept customers again.

The Salisbury BID say there are a number of reasons why not all shops have opened up yet: 

  • The flexible furlough scheme doesn't come into effect until 1st July and therefore some shops cannot afford to bring back staff until the part time furlough is available.
  • Whilst a proportion of the community are shielding or don't want to come out yet, there are fears that there are not enough customers for shops to be able to reopen and be viable. 
  • Shops must implement COVID Secure guidance before opening; safety measures which some businesses may not be able to comply with due to their shop space, staffing and costs. 
  • Some shop owners have had to make the difficult decision to stay closed for now in order to protect the future of their business. Overheads are at their lowest when the shop remains closed.

Susi Mason, Salisbury BID Director and owner of Casa Fina, said: 

"Retail is a challenge at any time, and even more so now with the added safety measures to contend with, plus the uncertainty in footfall. In such uncertain times, there are many commercial and personal reasons as to why some shops remain closed for the time being. 

I've been speaking to lots of fellow independent retailers in the city and everyone is doing whatever they can to adapt to the new ways. 

One shop owner has two shops and can't be in both places at once, but he also can't afford to bring back a staff member until the part time furlough becomes available. That's why his shop remains closed.

I understand another small shop owner and her two members of staff are classed as 'vulnerable' and are currently shielding, and therefore she can't reopen her shop yet.  

These are real people, having to make really difficult business decisions, during this really challenging time. We hope the Salisbury community can understand, sympathise and continue to come into our lovely city to support the shops that are open for business - there are plenty of us open!"

Due to an increase in demand, the Business Improvement District are encouraging shoppers to check the opening hours of stores they want to visit. 

They also want people coming into the city to browse to understand and respect why some are still closed. 

OGM social distancing
Social distancing measures have been put in place to keep staff and shoppers safe

Rachel Tribbeck, Salisbury BID Director and partner of H R Tribbeck & Son, said:

"Whilst shops were closed down over night, reopening is a completely different challenge. 

Many people expected all shops to reopen with their usual trading hours straight away, but we need our community to understand why this isn't possible and why many are operating on reduced hours. We've had to start small and allow ourselves room to grow; it would be a disaster to open as usual and then have to scale back. 

It would have been helpful for the government to introduce the flexible furlough scheme at the same time shops could reopen, however this isn't the case. We hope to see more shops opening once the flexible furlough scheme comes into effect from 1st July.

Our city and businesses will only be able to recover if the Salisbury community makes the effort to shop locally. This is a steep learning curve for us all and we appreciate people's understanding, patience and support."

You can still a full list of city centre businesses that are open by going to salisburybid.co.uk/shop-salisbury.

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