Independent traders experience surge in customers during lockdown
- Credit: Charlotte Bond
Independent market traders and butchers' have experienced a boom in business during the coronavirus lockdown - with shoppers looking to avoid potentially crowded supermarkets.
Lockdown rules introduced last week have forced all non-essential retailers to close and people have been ordered to stay at home, except for essential reasons.
However, retailers selling fresh produce are allowed to remain open in a Covid-secure manner.
Husband and wife Duncan and Sue Foulger manage Duncan's Butcher and Bakery in Martlesham Heath and said they have noticed customers making longer trips to make purchases.
Mr Foulger said the first few days of the recently-introduced lockdown were "very busy", but was not convinced it would last throughout the restrictions.
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He said: "It has made us busier as more people are using us as opposed to the supermarkets. We're finding more of the regulars in, as well as people coming from Ipswich and Woodbridge.
"We have noticed that people are stocking up a bit more, though they're not stockpiling in the way they did at supermarkets.
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"Last week was very busy. We are very lucky though and we know not to get complacent about it. Next week it could all change."
David Downes, who runs fresh produce stalls at Martlesham market and at Laurel Farm in Ipswich, said he has welcomed new customers since the restrictions were brought in last week.
He said: "We are generally quite busy. We have the advantage of being in the open air.
"There have been new customers, as well as our regulars, during the lockdown.
"But we are operating within the rules with social distancing and using hand sanitiser."