East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH) is to open the doors of another 13 shops, with the first phase of its reopening plan having been deemed a big success.
First phase of EACH shop reopenings delivers more than expected – 13 more outlets reopen next month
EACH shops in the following locations will reopen on Monday, 6 July:
- Cambridgeshire - Cambridge (Histon Road), Cherry Hinton and Ely
- Suffolk - Bury St Edmunds, Framlingham, Hadleigh, Lowestoft, Saxmundham and Woodbridge
- Norfolk - Cromer, Fakenham, Holt and Sheringham
The good cause has 43 shops across the region and has been the second-fastest growing charity retailer in the country for the last two years. Since the closure of its shops at the end of March EACH has been losing out on £100,000 a week in income.
It reopened five shops (in Plumstead Road, Unthank Road and Bowthorpe Main Centre, all in Norwich, as well as Poringland and Long Stratton) on 15 June to assess how well it could balance the implementation of new safety precautions, the needs of staff and volunteers, and commerciality.
Sarah Throssell, EACH Acting Head of Retail, said: “Trading at the five shops has delivered income far in excess of anticipated levels and given us greater confidence heading into phase two of our reopening plan.
“Not only has the income been good, but we’ve seen donation levels at roughly 135% of normal.
“Although our high streets are looking and feeling very different at the moment, it’s been incredibly exciting to be back trading and we’re now really looking forward to welcoming more customers back at the 13 shops we’re reopening on 6 July.
“Customers of our shops that are already open have been very patient so far, allowing us to keep operating in a safe manner, and we kindly ask the same of those who visit our shops elsewhere in the region from next month. It makes such a big difference in the lives of some of the region’s most vulnerable families, helping children and young people with life-threatening conditions to receive care, and relatives to receive vital support.
“The rest of our shops will reopen gradually, as and when it is safe and practical to do so, and news of reopening dates will appear on our website.”
The measures in place at EACH shops to ensure the safety of staff, volunteers and customers include:
• Shops are trading from 9.30am to 4.30pm, Monday to Saturday and 10am to 4pm on Sundays for those that are open seven days. This is to allow safe setting up and closing down.
• To ensure a safe shopping experience, the number of customers allowed in a shop at any one time is restricted. There is a different number allowed in each outlet depending on size.
• Customers are asked to follow social distancing guidelines.
• There are hand sanitiser stations at the front of all shops for customers to use on entry and exit.
• Changing rooms are closed. However, an exchange or refund will be given if goods are returned to any EACH shop within 28 days. The original price ticket must be in place and customers will need the original receipt.
• Customers are encouraged to make contactless payment.
EACH is welcoming donations. It says there may be special arrangements in place to accept them so that donors are not required to enter shops and also that shops may temporarily stop accepting donations at certain times of day due to restrictions on handling donated goods, and the extra time needed to process them. The charity is still asking people not to leave donations outside if shops are closed as they are likely to become damaged and result in a disposal cost for the good cause.
For the latest on the reopening of EACH shops, as well as a video showing what to expect when visiting, go to www.each.org.uk/shopopenings
EACH has also reopened its online shops, on eBay and Amazon, with both reporting healthy returns.
East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH) aims to maximise the quality of life for children and young people with a life-limiting or life-threatening condition, and to support their families.