Running a business comes with many challenges – especially running two branches and a retail business – and a successful business is one that is quickly able to adapt during the Coronavirus pandemic.
As well as operating two Post Offices, Mark Harrison, Postmaster for Goole and Moorends in Yorkshire, East of England Region, has certainly shown his mettle. Mark also owns Moorends Plant centre so he faced challenging times trying to sell plants during lockdown when no one could visit his plant nursery but he rose to the challenge.
Both Goole and Moorends branches have remained open during lockdown and Mark had to make rapid adjustments to ensure that staff and customers were safe at his branches by creating perspex screens. Then when additional screens arrived they were used between the run of counters to form individual working areas for staff and serving areas for customers.
Mark said: “We have been even busier than Christmas with parcels. People have wanted to stay in touch with family and friends and to send parcels and letters. As people have more time on their hands they have had time for a clear out and they have been selling on lots of on-line selling sites. With many people being furloughed or laid off, some people were selling items as they needed to find ways to generate income. Plus there were the small businesses who already operated on line.”
With lockdown occurring at the start of the key selling season for plants at their nursery alongside Moorends Post Office, they started a plant delivery service for plants and compost. They have already sold more than 20,000 of their 28,000 plants that they grow and because demand is so high they have had to buy in more young plants to grow on. They have also sold more than double the amount of compost since lockdown than they would in a whole year as people have more time to do gardening.
Mark said: “We managed to keep our communities supplied with plants, compost and toilet rolls during lockdown. We normally do public hanging baskets for the town of Thorne but we have run out of our plants as demand has been so high. This has been a crazy couple of months but we have got through it.”