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Party retailers prepare to reopen: Fantasy World

With 15 June now being named as the new opening date for non-essential retail in the UK, party retailers have shared how they will be preparing for this date and what they are expecting to see when their doors open in three weeks time.

“We will be opening with reduced hours at the beginning as I have a number of concerns about opening again – will there be any customers even when we do open, with all pubs and gatherings still cancelled?

We are lucky enough to have a fairly large and open shop so we can put in a one-way system and still have several people in the shop safely. I am not sure how smaller shops will cope! We are also adding a pick-up parking spot to our car park so customers can choose not to come into the shop if they prefer.

For the shop itself, we’ve gone for hats with visors over the screens as we may need to move around the space and we felt that a screen would impair our ability to hand product over the counter. We have also installed a sanitising station at the store entrance and have divided the shop into separate areas, for sales and hire. We will be doing a video to go on social media to show consumers the shop and what measures we have in place to reassure them.

Certain things will be difficult – the Government recommends changing rooms remain closed where possible, but costumes really need to be tried on. We may need to adjust our returns policy but we need to make sure it’s not open to being abused as well.

The hire side of the business will be the one most affected and so we will be addressing that by running promos to try and get people in – 50% off hires for key workers, etc. We will be expanding hire periods at no extra cost so customers can put the outfit in quarantine if required. We may also make anyone who wants to look through the hire area wear gloves and mask as well, we haven’t decided on that just yet!

The main concern really is whether we will have any customers and we have no idea what’s going to happen at Halloween. It would be great to hear from any suppliers who can help – sale return on Halloween orders would be good for a start!”

Justin Heaven, owner, Fantasy World, York (UK)
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