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Retailers welcome reopening of Norwich’s Royal Arcade

PUBLISHED: 13:37 20 June 2020 | UPDATED: 14:36 20 June 2020

Shops in the Royal Arcade in Norwich have reopened 12 weeks after closing due to coronavirus lockdown. Picture: Simon Parkin

Shops in the Royal Arcade in Norwich have reopened 12 weeks after closing due to coronavirus lockdown. Picture: Simon Parkin

Archant

Traders have welcomed the return of customers after the reopening of the historic Royal Arcade in Norwich.

Shops in the Royal Arcade in Norwich have reopened 12 weeks after closing due to coronavirus lockdown. Picture: Simon ParkinShops in the Royal Arcade in Norwich have reopened 12 weeks after closing due to coronavirus lockdown. Picture: Simon Parkin

The shopping arcade had been closed to all retailers on March 23 following Boris Johnson announcing the coronavirus lockdown.

Lady B Loves, Stompers, Sonkai Jewellers and Scribbler! Have all reopened for business, while Marmalades Cafe is operating a takeaway only service, with separate entrance and exit doors for customers.

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The Royal Arcade said: “Every precaution has been taken by these stores to ensure your safety so please know that you can shop in confidence and enjoy the beautiful architecture as normal-ish!

“Please check with individual stores as opening hours may vary from the norm and we look forward to seeing you soon.”

Shops in the Royal Arcade in Norwich have introduced social distancing measures, including childrens shoe shop Strollers. Picture: Simon ParkinShops in the Royal Arcade in Norwich have introduced social distancing measures, including childrens shoe shop Strollers. Picture: Simon Parkin

In a message on Facebook, bespoke family run business Sonkai Jewellers said: “We’re excited to be open again.

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“It’s been a strange and unnerving few weeks off, but we’ve been so pleased to see some of our lovely customers again - from a safe social distance, of course.”

Vintage-inspired boutique Lady B loves, which opened its shop in the arcade in 2016, and specialises in colourful, bold, quirky 50s glamour, said the first day of reopening had been “magical”.

“Back in my happy place, surrounded by fabulousness, a flurry of beautiful faces and so many messages of support. Huge love to everyone that popped in today or messaged to wish me luck,” said owner Jenny Bealey.

In order to respect social distancing the shop is admitting two customers at a time. “Please bear with us if you have a little wait,” she added.

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Children’s shoe shop Stompers is only allowing a single family into its store, adding that it was “hopeful that we can offer something approaching our usual standards of service.”

However other retailers in the arcade remained closed including popular toyshop Langleys and Macarons & More.

Run by MasterChef finalist Dr Tim Kinnaird, in March Macarons & More said the decision to close had been “really tough but the right thing to do”. Its Hellesdon bakery has remained open for online sales.

Last September owners of the half-empty arcade tried to fill shop units by inviting businesses to win retail space in a competition.


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