Search

More shops are opening as many of us yearn for a normal routine again

PUBLISHED: 19:12 14 June 2020 | UPDATED: 19:12 14 June 2020

Distance markers have been put in place and shops will have limited volumes in Romford Shopping Hall. Picture:  Romford Shopping Hall

Distance markers have been put in place and shops will have limited volumes in Romford Shopping Hall. Picture: Romford Shopping Hall

Romford Shopping Hall

All non-essential shops are allowed to reopen in England on Monday (June 15) and retailers across the country have been getting ready to open their doors.

Romford Shopping Hall is getting ready to reopen on Monday (June 15). Picture: Romford Shopping HallRomford Shopping Hall is getting ready to reopen on Monday (June 15). Picture: Romford Shopping Hall

But how have Havering shopping centres been preparing and are people ready to peruse the high streets? Romford Shopping Hall has a socially distanced marking system to guide shoppers.

Directional arrows have been put on the floor, along with two-metre markers throughout the centre.

Notices for one person/household per lift have been put in place, as well as distance-markings on escalators.

There is hand sanitiser at the entrance and exit and one person is allowed to use the toilets at a time.

The Mercury Mall. Picture: Mercury MallThe Mercury Mall. Picture: Mercury Mall

Shops have taken further steps to minimise contact. Alpha Books will have a drop box for returned books, Hawkins and Son butchers will have a one-way system in place and Sunrise Café is open for takeaway or phone orders.

You may also want to watch:

Sales and marketing manager of Romford Shopping Hall, Michelle Fitzgibbons, said: “These are challenging times for our unit owners. They are adapting really well to accommodate the new face of retail and our shops are looking forward to welcoming our loyal shoppers back.”

Likewise, the Mercury Mall has put in one-way systems and line markers, and will be limiting the number of people.

The Mercury Mall in Romford. Picture: Ken MearsThe Mercury Mall in Romford. Picture: Ken Mears

Centre manager Spencer Hawken said footfall has already increased by 40% since the middle of May, with people now looking to find some normality.

He said: “We think that people want to get back into a normal routine.

“We all have questions about infection and death rates, but the reality is we can’t wait in lockdown forever, hoping for a cure that might not come – while it’s a possibility we are more likely to see the virus burn itself out.”

Mr Hawken also said that as well as the obvious economic need, shopping could also serve a social purpose.

The Mercury Mall in Romford.The Mercury Mall in Romford.

“If the option [of shopping] was not there, we’d reach levels with people congregating in places for something to do, to try and replicate normality. This creates bigger risks.

“Reducing this, by giving people purpose, makes incredibly good sense.”


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Romford Recorder. Click the link in the orange box below for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years, through good times and bad, serving as your advocate and trusted source of local information. Our industry is facing testing times, which is why I’m asking for your support. Every single contribution will help us continue to produce award-winning local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Thank you.

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Romford Recorder