Back in business: Hampstead and Highgate shops reopen after coronavirus lockdown

Florist Janet Burgess reopens Village Flowers in Highgate. Picture: Polly Hancock

Florist Janet Burgess reopens Village Flowers in Highgate. Picture: Polly Hancock - Credit: Polly Hancock

Shops across Hampstead and Highgate threw back open their doors on Monday for the first time in three months.

Florist Janet Burgess reopens Village Flowers in Highgate. Picture: Polly Hancock

Florist Janet Burgess reopens Village Flowers in Highgate. Picture: Polly Hancock - Credit: Polly Hancock

Shops across Hampstead and Highgate threw back open their doors on Monday for the first time in three months.

Following the latest round of lockdown easing, non-essential shops returned to trade on June 15 including clothes retailers, booksellers, tailors and shoe shops.

Despite the excitement, the shops will appear different than they did pre-pandemic due to social distancing measures.

In Hampstead, Cubs children’s shoe shop in Heath Street has introduced an appointment-only system; given staff face masks; limited the number of customers at any one time to one parent and one child; instilled fitting screens and provided hand sanitiser.

Zdenka Ivankova (left) and owner Jenny Ho at Cubs shoe shop donned in PPE. Picture: Polly Hancock

Zdenka Ivankova (left) and owner Jenny Ho at Cubs shoe shop donned in PPE. Picture: Polly Hancock - Credit: Polly Hancock


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Cubs owner of 15 years Jenny Ho told the Ham&High she was “nervous” but “relieved” to be back in business.

“The customers have been really understanding – people realise how things have changed now,” Jenny said.

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“I am so pleased to reopen and see all of the customers again who are very supportive and understanding.

“It has been a very good day.”

Florist Janet Burgess reopens Village Flowers in Highgate. Picture: Polly Hancock

Florist Janet Burgess reopens Village Flowers in Highgate. Picture: Polly Hancock - Credit: Polly Hancock

In Highgate, WCD interiors owner Avril Castellazzo said its prolonged period of closure had provided a welcome chance to “reflect”.

“I think lockdown either inspired or paralysed people,” Avril said.

“For us it was inspiring in that we’ve had that time that you just don’t normally get in retail to sit back and change the way we work so that we now have a much more intimate relationship with customers than we used to.”

Avril added: “Today has been great - everyone’s been really positive.”

Florist Janet Burgess reopens Village Flowers in Highgate. Picture: Polly Hancock

Florist Janet Burgess reopens Village Flowers in Highgate. Picture: Polly Hancock - Credit: Polly Hancock

Jo Tutchener-Sharp, founder of Scamp & Dude clothes shop, said: “I was so happy to open the shop again.

“We’ve really missed talking to our customers in our little store and are excited to see Highgate coming to life again.

“It’s been really busy today in the shop which is a really positive sign and everyone has respected the safety measures we have had in place so it’s been a really great first day back.”

Justin Kowbel and David Caldana, founders of cookware shop Borough Kitchen, said they were “delighted to be back in action” on Hampstead High Street.

A sale sign being put up in Trilogy, Heath Street. Picture: Polly Hancock

A sale sign being put up in Trilogy, Heath Street. Picture: Polly Hancock - Credit: Polly Hancock

They called the shop’s new safety measures “thorough” so that customers feel safe.

Borough Kitchen, Hampstead High Street. Picture: Polly Hancock

Borough Kitchen, Hampstead High Street. Picture: Polly Hancock - Credit: Polly Hancock

Florist Janet Burgess reopens Village Flowers in Highgate. Picture: Polly Hancock

Florist Janet Burgess reopens Village Flowers in Highgate. Picture: Polly Hancock - Credit: Polly Hancock

Waterstones, Hampstead High Street. Picture: Polly Hancock

Waterstones, Hampstead High Street. Picture: Polly Hancock - Credit: Polly Hancock

Scamp & Dude founder Jo Tutchener-Sharp. Picture: Scamp & Dude

Scamp & Dude founder Jo Tutchener-Sharp. Picture: Scamp & Dude - Credit: Scamp & Dude

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