Taste Of The New Normal: Linda Bygrave, owner of Celebrations in Aylsham

Now, almost four weeks into the re-opening of many specialist card shops, PG Buzz checked in Linda Bygrave (pictured above), owner of Celebrations in the Norfolk town of Aylsham to get her take on how the ‘new normal’ is panning out and what she thinks it ‘tastes’ like.

Above: Celebrations has adopted slightly reduced opening hours to accommodate those who are shielding to enjoy some private shopping time.
Above: Celebrations has adopted slightly reduced opening hours to accommodate those who are shielding to enjoy some private shopping time.

What is new ‘now’ like for Celebrations? “The town has gone all out to help businesses. We’ve had one-way systems put in place to make it safer for pedestrians, markings on the pavements, local councillors about the town and volunteer helpers wearing ‘shop with confidence’ t-shirts to talk to people who may be nervous shoppers. The customers who are about are spending and we are not seeing any browsers at.

We have reduced our trading hours, opening up at the same time as usual but closing earlier so we can then accommodate shielding customers (for pre-arranged appointments) to come in on their own.”

Above: A lovely new display of Wrendale products in Celebrations.
Above: A lovely new display of Wrendale products in Celebrations.

What positive stuff has come out of this period? “People’s response to us being back and open has been amazing; they’ve really missed us. The decent weather and opening up with Father’s Day at the end of the first week really helped.”

How do you reckon things will pan out? “We are hoping as more things open up this will help to increase our footfall.
As long as we will be able to get stock then I think the card industry will bounce back, it seems more than ever people realise the importance of cards, which is good and hopefully they will continue to shop local.”

What would you say is the taste of the ‘new normal’? “Definitely sweet and sour. There have been some lovely moments and some sad ones.”

Above: There is a certain piquancy to this period, that’s for sure!
Above: There is a certain piquancy to this period, that’s for sure!

Top: Linda Bygrave, owner of Celebrations in Aylsham.

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