Traders in Islington's Camden Passage look ahead to April 12 lockdown lifting

Camden Passage, Islington

Camden Passage, Islington - Credit: Fathayha Begum

For traders in Camden Passage the past year has been a difficult one, but hopes are high for business to return as restrictions ease. 

If the government's roadmap continues as planned, all shops will be able to reopen on April 12.

Laura McDonald, 60, has worked at Haygen homeware, fashion, jewellery and gifts shop for three years.

She said: “It’s a lovely place to work. Obviously we don’t have the footfall that we had before so everything now for us is click and collect or online.

"We launched a new website just before Christmas, which was great and worked really well for us in lockdown. We’ve adapted the business, as there are four of us here at the moment that are normally working - two girls a day, full time.

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"We’ve adapted our hours and times, so customers can come and collect and know that we’re here."

Laura McDonald at Haygen

Laura McDonald at Haygen - Credit: Fathayha Begum

She said window displays are changed constantly even though the doors are closed to customers.

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“Jenny, who owns the business, started it ten years ago now, so we have a lot of local trade - repeat customers who know us by name, that come back in, and keep knocking and saying: 'We can’t wait for you to reopen.'"

She said it is uncertain how business will be when the restrictions end.

"I am not sure what normal is anymore. I am not sure what the week [days] will be like because a lot of offices will be closed and people won’t still be back full time but I think once the restaurants are open," she said.

"We’ll be really busy like we used to be at the weekends because people will want to come out."

Steve Fernandes, 40, originally planned to open up his coffee shop, Kapé Konnection in March 2020, but pandemic delays meant it was put back to September.

“It is tough," he said. "We had to adapt to takeaway deliveries, click and collect."

He continued: “It’s picking up gradually. It’s ticking, it’s not really working, but hopefully if the lockdown is lifted then it will be great.” 

Steve Fernandes at Kapé Konnection

Steve Fernandes at Kapé Konnection - Credit: Fathayha Begum

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