Non-essential shops in Islington reopen to customers

PUBLISHED: 16:18 15 June 2020 | UPDATED: 16:18 15 June 2020

Adventures in Furniture owner Kim Corbett. Picture: Submitted by Kim Corbett

Adventures in Furniture owner Kim Corbett. Picture: Submitted by Kim Corbett


Non-essential shops in Islington are welcoming customers back through their doors today (June 15) .

The new social distancing signs at Angel Central. Picture: Submitted by Angel CentralThe new social distancing signs at Angel Central. Picture: Submitted by Angel Central

As part of the government’s three-stage easing of lockdown restrictions, shops around the UK have been allowed to reopen for the first time since late March, provided they follow Covid-19 guidelines.

Adventures in Furniture on Upper Street implemented extra safety measures for reopening, such as bookable individual shop browsing appointments and tours via Zoom.

Owner Kim Corbett told the Gazette: “It’s really exciting to be opening, it has been crazy - we’re normally only closed for about five days a year and we were closed for months.

“We have hand sanitiser and can give people masks - we are ready.”

Kim said the lockdown has been “hard”, with a considerable pressure on revenues, but she is “cautiously optimistic” about the future.

READ MORE: Coronavirus: When are non-essential shops in Islington reopening?

Over on Baron Street, the co-owners of N1 Games, husband and wife team Sam and Sue Semaan, said the first day was going well.

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Sue told this newspaper the period of closure was worrying because the price of video games can depreciate quickly and the business does not have an online branch.

She explained: “It’s difficult to compete against the big video game companies, so we didn’t go online and chose to focus on having that personal service for our customers - but maybe in the future we should look into it.

“We came in three or four days ago to take everything off the shelves and have a very good spring clean.”

N1 Games is not allowing any more than two or three people into the shop at once and have installed screens to protect staff.

The open-air Angel Central shopping centre is also following a new set of stringent safety measures under its strapline Safety Central.

These include a one-way system starting on Upper Street and exiting onto Liverpool Road and signage displaying each shop’s maximum capacity.

Martin Macwhinnie, Angel Central centre manager, said: “For many people, Angel Central is at the centre of their community, so we would like our neighbours to know that their health and safety is being cared for.”

Pret A Manger and Wagamama are the first at Angel Central to reopen for delivery and takeout options.

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