Following weeks of ceased trade, many garden centres in England have today opened their doors to the buying public, albeit with numerous procedures in place.
Following lockdown, the UK garden centre industry, along with many other sectors, was forced to close its doors. Many successfully launched online or telephone delivery to continue to generate revenue. For those garden centres either choosing to remain closed while safety measure are put in place, or those to whom the changes do not apply, these delivery services provide a valuable source of mental wellbeing for the communities surrounding the centres.
To aid the garden centre industry, The HTA has produced a Safe Trading Guidance which includes a series of recommendations to protect both customers and staff.
The guidance document is based on insight from HTA retailers, the British Retail Consortium, and from government advice as a recommendation of best practice regarding social distancing.
Recommendations include advice on customer numbers in stores, entrance and exit protocols, and queueing and checkout procedures. It also contains practical advice on how to protect the health and wellbeing of staff.
What customers can expect
- controlled access to car parks
- limits on customer numbers in store – the recommendation is 1 per 1000 square foot – others to wait outside to enter
- customers will be asked to shop with a maximum of one other person if possible and will be required to keep 2m distancing throughout the store and whilst queueing.
- cafes, restaurants and children’s play areas will not be allowed to reopen under the guidelines.
Fordingbridge have worked within the industry for much of our 55 year history. Throughout this time we are proud of our work to help business owners enhance their outside space with versatile, practical solutions to further their retail environments. If you are looking to improve your space with additional weather protected areas for plants, or people, we are here to help.
*Image courtesy of the award winning Old Railway Line Garden Centre, Brecon, illustrating how their team are working safely to provide their services to their customer.