by Camilla Ridley
We're delighted that our Barnes store is re-opening and we've introduced several new features to help you shop in comfort and with confidence. And so you, our staff, and our community stay safe.
I hope you are well and have got through lockdown ok. I'm absolutely itching for life to get back to normal, to get back into the shop, and to start to see everyone again. This has really been a very difficult and trying time. And I'm incredibly proud to say that with the help of our wonderful customers and influencers, we have managed to keep our team of skilled seamstresses busy working from home in London and supporting their families throughout this period. So an absolutely enormous thank you. I can't tell you how grateful we all are for the support we've received.
This summer is set to be very different for all of us. Particularly with the cancelation of so many events and social distancing still in place for the foreseeable future. With an eye on summer, we have developed a versatile new collection of relaxed sundresses that are perfect for long summer days and holidays. Like all of our printed floral silk dresses, they can all be individually tailored to flatter in any of our prints, including some wonderful new Liberty print cottons. They're available on our website and you can try them on in-store. But there are some conditions. Like so many retail businesses, we're re-opening within strict Government guidelines on social distancing and safe shopping. And we've introduced a number of new features in-store to support with this.
1. New opening hours
For now, the shop will be open from 11am to 4pm, from Monday through to Saturday. There are also a number of out of hours appointments available, which need to be booked at least 24 hours in advance.
2. Priority shopping
While social distancing continues, we're only allowing two customers inside the shop at any one time. However, priority shopping slots are available and can be booked here or by calling us on: 01730 823097
3. Queuing points
We've installed socially distanced queuing points along our shopfront and we would be grateful if you could please wait by these until it's clear and safe for you to enter the store.
4. Open door policy
We're going to be keeping our door open throughout the day, so you'll be able to step inside without having to touch anything.
5. Sanitisation station
When you enter the store, we would be extremely grateful if you could please thoroughly cleanse your hands at the sanitisation station directly in front of you. Single use gloves and face masks are available should you need them.
6. 2m Zones
4. We have divided the shop into two socially distanced zones and have added visual floor markings around the store to help you stay the necessary 2m distance from other customers. The rule of thumb is to please be sensitive to the needs and space of others. On the side aisles stay railside of the dotted lines if someone is directly opposite you. And try and stay at least a meter away from the dividing line running across the middle of the store, when someone is in the other zone. There's also a line in front of the payment counter. We would be grateful if you could please remain behind this during transactions.
We have spaced garments out more on the rails so they are easier to see, and we would be very grateful if you could please avoid touching the displays or clothing unnecessarily. Or wear a pair of gloves from the sanitisation station. Our stylists are on hand to help you, so please let them know if there's anything you need.
8. Safe service
Our in-store stylists are being tested regularly, and one or two of them have now tested positive for the Coronavirus anti-body test. In spite of this, we have asked all of our staff to respect the Government's guidelines and to be sensitive to each customer's individual needs. Staff will thoroughly cleanse themselves on entering the shop and will be regularly washing their hands after handling garments and throughout the day. And wherever possible, staff will be maintaining a safe 2m distance from customers at all times. We would ask you to also respect this please, and to ensure you do not enter our store if you may be suffering from any of the symptoms associated with Coronavirus.
9. Our fitting space is open...but different
Government guidelines currently remain somewhat unclear on trying on garments in stores. And while many fitting rooms remain closed to enable social distancing, we believe trying on garments is a key part of our offer and the unique personal service we provide. Above all, it allows us to see where garments can be tailored for your most flattering fit. To enable this, we have converted our fitting area into a single large space, for one person to try on garments at any one time. To reduce the chances of contamination, we have removed all soft furnishings and have put an accessible rail in place for you to use. Rails will be wiped down and disinfected after each use, and this space will be cleaned thoroughly at the end of each day.
10. Air purification
One thing that has become clear during the last few months is that being outside and clean and constant airflow greatly reduces the chances of infection. With this in mind, we will be keeping our door open and ventilation systems operating while customers are in-store. We have also installed an advanced air purification system into our fitting room area which will be on at all times.
11. Quarantining garments
Any garments that are tried on, returned, or handled excessively by customers will be quarantined within a separate area of our stock room for 72 hours. An air purification system will be running within this space and garments will be subjected to disinfection from UV light. We would very grateful if customers would carefully consider which garments they wish to try to help us limit this process
12. Virtual styling service
We will be offering a virtual digital styling service for those customers who would prefer to try garments on in the comfort of their own home. As with a website order, any garments taken to try from the store will need to be paid for in advance. And garments being returned will be quarantined for 72 hours.
13. Contactless payments
To avoid unnecessary contact and maintain social distancing, we will be operating a contactless card payment system. Customers will be asked to supply their card details and transactions will be processed while they wait.
Any returns to our store or on-line will be refunded in full as long as the garments are in a fit and proper condition. Please refer to our returns policy within our terms and conditions.
Thank you very much for taking the time to familiarise yourself with our socially distanced shopping guidelines. And for your support in keeping our shop open and operating safely. We really look forward to hopefully seeing you in-store soon. In the meantime, we would be more than happy to answer any questions you may have relating to our new shopping guidelines. Or to receive any feedback you have, especially around how we could improve this experience for everyone.
Thanks again. I hope to see you very soon!