Lockdown ends: Harrogate shops prepare to say 'welcome back' to customers

With just three days until 'non-essential' shops can reopen, Harrogate traders in the town centre say they are hoping the Christmas season will make up for its lockdown losses.

By Graham Chalmers
Monday, 30th November 2020, 2:51 pm

The Harrogate Advertiser has talked to several independent Harrogate businesses and the general feeling is relief that they can welcome back customers.

Managing director Hazel Barry, who owns H2K, the award-winning skin care products shop, said: “Yes,hharrog I’m so relieved we can open as it’s our busiest time of the year.

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Hazel Barry, managing director of H2K, the Harrogate-based award-winning skin care products shop, said: “I’m so relieved we can open as it’s our busiest time of the year."

"Whilst we’ve had tremendous local support with the click and collect service, we’ve missed seeing our customers and trading in our wonderful Harrogate store."

With the slogan "skincare as natural as you", this high quality independent shop is still hoping that Harrogate returns to Tier 1 as quickly as possible after lockdown ends this Wednesday, December 2.

Hazel said: "We’re hopeful Harrogate will be in the safest tier as I think the town has worked extremely hard to stay safe, but I guess the statistics will speak for themselves.”

The Montpellier Quarter businesses are all set to reopen, with special attention to their Christmas windows and stocked with unique gifts. Most shops in this historic retail quarter are planning on opening on the three Sundays in December and are hoping that hospitality opens, as tourism will be a big boost to the town.

Meanwhile, Sophie Hartley, owner of gift shop Sophie Likes on Beulah Street which has featured in the Harrogate Advertiser #supportourindies campaign, said: “We can’t wait to reopen on December 3 and really hope that Harrogate comes to life again with the festive buzz.

“The town centre is looking lovely and inviting with the Christmas lights and is raring to go. Wouldn’t it be great if we could still have our busiest Christmas ever after the year we have had?”

Sue Kramer of Commercial Street Retail Group, whose new website www.commercial-street.co.uk was launched last week, said: “Despite trying Covid times, our street community spirit remains vibrant.

“It’s great we can now welcome customers in person in the Christmas season, as well as online.”

Georgia Eckert, who owns Imagined Things independent book shop at Westminster Arcade in Harrogate said: “I think if we were in a higher tier it would have a knock-on effect as it could mean less people in the town centre, but I’m more hopeful now that we’re able to open the doors again and we can make the best of Christmas.”

But Harrogate's business leaders are under no illusion what a possible move into even Tier 2 could mean.

Sara Ferguson, acting chair of Harrogate BID, which has invested in this year’s dazzling new Christmas lights in the town centre, said: “The retail and hospitality sector is champing at the bit to reopen and welcome customers back into their premises.

“If we go into a tier 2, I suspect a number of pubs and bars may not bother reopening. And if it’s tier 3, I fear it may well sound the death knell for a great many hospitality businesses.”

Harrogate Advertiser's #supportourindies campaign

We are inviting our independent traders to get in touch with us so we can do our bit to help spread the word and give them a helping hand in promoting their business through lockdown.

We want to champion the positive things we can all do to help the the town’s economy overcome these troubled times.

Please contact us and let us know what you are doing and we will add you to our list of operational businesses online.

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