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Four garden centres announce reopening across Norfolk and Suffolk

PUBLISHED: 04:43 12 May 2020 | UPDATED: 12:32 12 May 2020

Cherry Lane is set to reopen its garden centres  Picture: CHERRY LANE

Cherry Lane is set to reopen its garden centres Picture: CHERRY LANE

Cherry Lane

A Suffolk and Norfolk-based garden centre chain is set to reopen on Wednesday, May 13.

Value garden retailer Cherry Lane said it would be opening its gates at Carlton Colville near Lowestoft, Long Melford, Pulham Market and Fritton, near Great Yarmouth after coronavirus lockdown restrictions were eased.

But the chain said it would be operating under strict social distancing rules to allow customers to circulate safely.

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Despite being classed as an essential retailer, Cherry Lane, which sells a wide range of food, pet and convenience items, and DIY goods as well as garden items, closed its doors at the end of March – and donated perishable goods to charities and community groups.

Group operations director Karl Ottolangui said they were “delighted” to be reopening and welcoming customers back.

“We have carefully studied how other essential retailers have handled social distancing to allow them to reopen while keeping staff and customers safe,” he said.

“The measures we now have in place follow best practice, and the advice of the government and the British Retail Consortium.”

There will be a designated queuing area outside, with markers placed at two metre intervals to help customers respect each other’s personal space. 

The centres have also been fitted with two metre floor markers inside, and all checkouts are provided with protective plastic screens. The cafés will not be reopen at this stage.

Nathan Skoyles, manager at Early Dawn by Cherry Lane in Carlton Colville, said: “All of the team here at Cherry Lane are very excited to be back and serving our customers again.

“People are spending a lot of time in their gardens at the moment, so we are ensuring we are fully stocked and looking forward to being able to supply all our customers’ needs.

“However, for the safety of our customers and staff, we do ask you to bear with us if you have to queue, and obey the social distancing procedures we have in place, as we are limiting the number of customers in the centre at any one time.

“We are providing cleaning stations for our trolleys, encouraging contactless or card payments and asking customers to shop alone if at all possible.”

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