Hello lovely Persephone followers! It has been a while since I put pen to paper and it feels great to have lots of things to write about again. I don’t know about you but motivation throughout this time has been lacking. Not because I don’t want to be doing things, improving the business and keeping everything up to date but because there has been so much uncertainty, lack of schedule and structure to the days and also very little human contact. The hours merge into days, which turn into weeks which has now been months! But I hope like me you have all started to regain your mojo!
I am taking a lot of things away from this time – some positives, some negatives but I am grateful for the time it has given me to evaluate so many things. I know I do not want to live life as I was before lockdown at 100mph and I know I have appreciated so much a slower pace of life. I have missed the shop so much especially our fabulous customers – many of which I have spoken with on the telephone but it is just not the same as seeing lots of lovely faces each day.
I am very aware of how shopping habits have changed over this time and how online shopping has become the thing we all do. I am conscious that a behaviour takes only 3 weeks to become a learnt habit, and therefore everyone has had to adapt and will have become very accustomed to this way of shopping. We have an online store and I am very grateful to all customers who have chosen to shop this way with us ensuring we can still serve our customers as best we can. We have also taken many an order over the phone, like normal for those who are less confident online or who just like a friendly chat when placing an order. Whilst lockdown has forced all consumers, me included to become online shoppers I do hope that a number of you will return to the high street (in your own time of course) and support the small independents like myself. We have a vibrant high street in Malmesbury with a wide range of small shops from stationary and printing, meat and eggs, bread and milk to hardware supplies and all the flowers and plants that you could imagine (thanks to us!) that have on the whole been supporting you and your families during this whole time of lockdown. Lots of the small businesses have adapted to accommodate a different way of working and have kept you fed, watered and prepped for DIY projects galore. I ask that you think first of a local company who might be able to help meet a need in the coming weeks and months and years (it is likely to take this long for things to recover for all of us) instead of rushing back to the big names who will have weathered this storm much better than the small independent shops
As we prepare to reopen things have got to change a lot unfortunately, for us to be able to operate safely and efficiently with a reduced team. Serving you won’t be ‘normal’ per say but I do hope that our smiley faces will help you all overcome the barriers (literally in our case) to the shopping experience.
After careful consideration and a lot of discussions it is only fair to us to serve our customers in a way that feels safest for us. In order to reopen the shop, we must protect ourselves and our customers and we have set out some changes below in order to assist you and us with this.
- Only one person or one household to enter the shop at any one time – we will have a space cornered off in the shop to allow customers inside but not too far. All of our ready to go items and plants will be displayed on our trollies creating a ‘browsing’ area for you. You will not be able to choose your own stems like you can normally but we will happily bring the flowers to you.
- We ask for contactless payments where possible (we can split transactions to allow you to pay for more than £45.00 worth of goods to prevent you needing to touch the machine) and we will be cashless for a while. This is not likely to be a permanent change but is the most practical for now.
- We ask of course that if you have had any symptoms or feel unwell at all to not enter our shop and instead shop online or over the phone for safe contactless delivery to your home.
- We will no longer be open on a Monday. We will happily deliver flowers on Mondays in our locality as we always have but we will not be opening the shop. This is a permanent change that suits our business model and will help us to provide the best possible services to you. Mondays will be our day to grow and develop to help us bloom long term.
- Our opening hours will be 10am to 3.30pm Tuesday through to Friday and 10-2pm on Saturday’s these changed opening hours are only temporary to allow us to clean, stock up and create bouquets before and after customers. We will be reviewing these on a weekly basis and will update customers via our social media channels when/if this changes. If you need something outside of these times let us know and we can deliver or we can create a specific collection slot for you. We are flexible and accommodating especially in this funny time to be there for all of our customers.
- We will be working with just one member of staff so some days we may not be able to staff the shop due to circumstances outside of our control. We will do our best to let everyone know in advance of this if we will not be opening.
We ask that all customers are kind – it is the most difficult thing for us planning the reopening of our much loved shop. We, just like you have lived through this pandemic with lots of uncertainty and lots of nerves with regards to our business and how we can move forward and rebuild following this prolonged period of closure.