'We have had to adapt' says Harrogate shop owner as it prepares to reopen

What will Harrogate's high street look like when the big reopening of shops takes place next week?

By Graham Chalmers
Thursday, 11th June 2020, 11:44 am
A pre-lockdown shop owner Sophie Hartley inside her boutique Sophie Likes on Beulah Street in Harrogate before she introduced strict social distancing and hygiene measures.
A pre-lockdown shop owner Sophie Hartley inside her boutique Sophie Likes on Beulah Street in Harrogate before she introduced strict social distancing and hygiene measures.

None of the independent businesses the Harrogate Advertiser talked to was under any illusion that a complete return to normality is on the cards when the Government-backed reopening of 'non-essential' shops begins on Monday, June 15.

In the first of a series of chats with independent businesses, the Harrogate Advertiser asked independent shop owner Sophie Hartley whether she was looking forward to reopening?

Sophie Likes, 36 Beulah Street, Harrogate

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Sophie Hartley runs a boutique online store selling quirky, contemporary, design-led goodies gifts.

Sophie Hartley said: "We have been spending this week cleaning, reorganising and sorting out the shop.

"We can’t wait to reopen and have installed safety measures so that our customers and staff feel safe including a one way system, a perspex screen and limited numbers in the shop.

"I am just taking it one week at a time and trying to keep positive in these uncertain times. "We have had to adapt to the situation and it will be great to see Harrogate town centre reopen and come to life again.

"I can’t wait to see our customers again and welcome both old and new into an environment that is not only safe but offered a feel good factor in these unsettling times.

"I think that by giving the town centre a deep clean can only be a good thing as it will, hopefully, reassure the public that it is a safe place to visit.

"I hope that we can bring some life back to the town centre and breathe some fresh air and attract local people back and visitors, too."

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