"Really lovely to be back" - Sheffield shoppers hit the High Street again as lockdown begins to lift
Shoppers in Sheffield have returned to the city’s high street and independent shops for the first time in six months after restrictions were eased today, on April 12.
Monday, April 12, marked the next stage of the government’s coronavirus ‘roadmap’ out of lockdown, which came as a relief to many shoppers and shop owners across Sheffield.
Non-essential shops were given the go-ahead to open and could accept customers inside in limited numbers, with queuing systems in place outdoors.
People all across the city could be seen with multiple shopping bags and by midday hordes of people were lining up outside their favourite shops that they have missed during the lockdown.
Lifestyle gift shop Within reason on Devonshire Street in Sheffield welcomed customers back through its doors today.
Rona Stevenson at Within Reason said: “As you can imagine it’s been really lovely to be back in the store today and people have been excited and generous, but we did have some technical issues to start with, so it has been a little tense.
“The last time we opened, it was a Saturday, and people were queuing, which made me cry; I was so emotional about it, but I think opening on a Monday, it means we’ve got a slower start but having said that it has been pretty busy for a Monday, we’ve taken some big sales.
She added: “I’ve been dealing with all the technical problems, but I’ve heard everybody come in chatting and laughing, people have been saying how much they have missed us.
“I think the whole John Lewis thing or Cole Brothers as it as for people from Sheffield has kind of made people think about what the town centre is going to be like. That’s on everybody’s lips, that seems to be the hot topic of conversation.”
Speaking about the shops' survival, Rona said: “It’s been crazy, luckily we had furlough; we would not be here without that, that’s very clear. For me personally, it’s been pretty hard because obviously everybody was on furlough, there’s no other way to do it really, but we do have quite a busy and active website, so I’ve been coming in every day and wrapping things and posting them out. So as it goes I’ve not really stopped.