Shoppers welcomed back with open arms — a sense of normality returns to the local community…
It’s fair to say that shopping online isn’t exactly an unfamiliar experience anymore. Since the birth of Amazon and eBay, more and more people have taken to shopping online. That being said, it’s clear to see that people have really missed the traditional shopping experience since the country went into lockdown back in March.
Shoppers were delighted when the government announced that non-essential shops could reopen their doors for the first time in three months in June. High streets and shopping centres alike have welcomed local shoppers back to ‘reality’ but with strict social distancing measures in place.
It’s a step closer to normality for so many people, so it was no surprise to see long queues outside big stores like River Island, Top Shop and Waterstones. “It’s been so weird for so many people for the last few months,” said one local shopper. “It seems silly, but I think we all took things like this for granted before lockdown. It’s great to be able to browse my favourite shops again, even if I can’t try anything on!”
No one said reopening was going to be easy. Store managers and employees are approaching things with caution. Rachel, who works in the women’s fashion department of Primark commented, “It’s great that we can welcome people back and I’m so glad to be back at work. The next few months are going to be difficult for everyone, but we’re all in the same boat and we need to work towards the same goals.”
Although shops have reopened, it’s not going to be the same as it was before lockdown. Sacrifices have had to be made, but at least the world looks as though it’s making a slow and steady recovery from a completely unprecedented situation.
With summer around the corner and Bournemouth being a hotspot for tourists, it’s going to be interesting to see where the needle points to next in terms of places reopening. The hospitality industry would be thriving around this time of year, but pubs, hotels and restaurants haven’t been open for months.
“I don’t really care if I have to queue up for an hour, I just want to share a pint with my mates in a beer garden! In all seriousness though, it’s great to see shops reopening and businesses thriving again”, said Ben, who works for House of Fraser in Poole.
Only time will tell what summer will really look like in Bournemouth this year. Everyone hopes things will gradually go back to the way things were. One thing’s for sure — the world we once knew, loved and tolerated is re-emerging from the rubble and shopping has never seemed so appealing.