Shoppers flock as stores reopen

RETAIL therapy is back following the reopening of non-essential shops.

The easing of lockdown restrictions from June 15 brought high streets and retail parks in the borough back to life.And as this first-day photo from Crown Point North, Denton, showed there was a huge appetite from the public to make up for the three months when they were shut.

With numbers allowed in shops restricted because of social distancing, huge queues snaked around much of the Denton shopping complex on the opening day.

By far the largest were to gain entry to Sports Direct whose manager told The Correspondent he was unable to comment.

However, a spokesperson for Crown Point said: “In the first hours of its reopening, one of our stores saw a particularly high volume of visitors and we worked quickly with their team to bring in additional queue attendants and ensure all visitors were waiting safely.

“We’ve been really pleased with how our customers have responded to the extra measures we have taken to help keep everybody safe while at Crown Point.

“We have installed new signage across the park to help everyone maintain social distancing and have also been working closely with our retailers to support them with the new systems and measures they have in place.

“Over the course of the week, our customers have continued to follow the guidance in place.

“We’d like to say a huge thank you to them and to our colleagues for working incredibly hard to help our shoppers have a safe and enjoyable experience.”

Queues also formed outside JD Sports whose spokesman Chris Hill said the he had never known the Denton store to be so busy.

“There were queues outside, but they were controllable. And inside stands were removed to make more room for customers and make it easier to keep to social distancing,” he explained.

Chris added it was busy during the first week of reopening, but things had “calmed down” by the start of the second one.Meanwhile, at Clarendon Square Shopping Centre, Hyde, most shops also reopened on June 15.
Centre manager Sophie Stephenson described footfall as “busy” on the opening day, but it became steadier as the week progressed.

“Our shopping centre has strong links to the local community, and it was nice for shops to reopen and see familiar faces,” she said.

Stalybridge Town Team had put resources into promoting the reopening of the town centre.

Chair Ray Harrison said: “We had a good response in general during the first week with queues forming outside some shops.

“And the feedback I have received is that businesses were pleased how it went, though they are still finding their feet.”

Ray added there are still closed signs as there are a significant number of health and beauty businesses in the town centre which are still not permitted to open.

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