Different Garden Centre strategies for Coronavirus opening

Most garden centres will reopen on Wednesday, having used the lockdown to prepare for Covid-19 safe reopening. While all are imposing social distancing and are adopting safe trading practices, there are differences in their approach.

Notcutts says ‘Opening hours will be different in the short-term. Our garden centres will be open from 9am to 4pm Monday to Saturday and 10.30am to 4.30pm on Sundays.’

Dobbies tells customers ‘Appropriate PPE has been provided for team members, who will also receive training and regular briefings on how to keep themselves and customers safe. Rigorous daily hygiene routines will continue throughout the stores.

‘Whilst the restaurants and soft plays will remain temporarily closed, Dobbies will offer a takeaway menu including hot and cold drinks, soups, toasties, panini and selected bakery items from Friday 15 May.’

Blue Diamond stores will reopen on Wed 13th and are being encouraged to prioritise emergency workers as well as Blue Light cardholders when allowing customers into the store. This includes all social care workers, first responders, St John’s Ambulance staff, and Age UK volunteers, amongst many others.

At the Gardens Group GCA chairman, Mike Burks, says, “We’ll be taking a big step towards normality on Wednesday, as all three garden centres reopen, and we’re ready to do all we can to make this work for the good of both customers and staff. We’ve reinvented the business once in the last two months and I feel confident that we can do it again.”

Plans for a drive-through compost shop has been introduced, for those who just need a few bags, while customers will be invited to purchase large items such as garden furniture by taking the relevant barcodes to the till, where staff will arrange for free home delivery. To help visitors manage the new one-way system, the team has produced maps of each garden centre, so that shopping lists can be made in the right order.

Webbs Garden Centres will be reopening their stores in West Hagley and Cheltenham from Wednesday 13th May and its store at Wychbold from Thursday 14th May. Most gardening and home items are available in-store at Webbs; however there are some restrictions… These include the closure of restaurants, cafés, and clothing departments.

Rosebourne opens on Wednesday with dedicated shopping times for ‘NHS/Care/Police/Fire and other front line workers with proof of ID will have priority shopping times on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, 8:30am – 9:30am.

‘Elderly and vulnerable customers will have dedicated shopping times on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 8:30am – 9:30am and on Sundays, 9:00am to 10:00am.’

British Garden Centres will have all stores open on Wednesday. It reminds customers, ‘Some of our suppliers are only just coming back to work this week so on occasions you may not find exactly what you are looking for BUT the centres are full of wonderful plants, gardening goods, birdcare, compost etc. Come along with a flexible shopping list and we are confident you will go away very happy!’

Langlands Garden centres - have put extensive work into moving the centres around to ensure they are safe for our customers and most importantly our staff.  Their store is pictured.

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