With lockdown in place across parts of the UK, many independent businesses who would normally set up in Retail stores have been left with nowhere to sell their gift items.
Bradfield Post Office in the tiny Peak District village of Bradfield, in our North West and North Wales region has come up with a novel idea to ensure the lockdown doesn’t ruin Christmas shopping.
Flask End Village Shop & Bradfield Post Office had to close the inside cafe area but Postmaster Heather Tingle came up with a novel idea to utilise the empty space by offering independent local businesses a place to sell their Christmas gift stock.
Curated Makers, which were due to have weeks of retail space in a pop-up shop in John Lewis in Sheffield City Centre found their plans were curtailed due to the lockdown hitting after only three days, and this is where Flask End and Bradfield Post Office stepped in. Four of the John Lewis pop-up shop traders are now hastily organising displays inside the quaint village store, along with 17 other Sheffield independent businesses.
Since Monday 9 November customers who wished to support Sheffield businesses were be able to browse the range of gifts in store, whilst picking up their essential groceries or using the Post Office.
Postmaster Heather said: “During the first lockdown the importance of using small independents and shopping local was really highlighted, with people unable to access supermarket deliveries, and big supply chains failing. We were able to step in so that local customers, the elderly and vulnerable, were able to shop with us and get fresh produce in a stress free, and socially distanced manner.
“The second lockdown at this time of year will mean so many retailers missing out on peak Christmas trading, so we wanted to offer a lifeline to those smaller businesses as well as giving our customers an alternative to shopping online with big companies.
“It’s quite a coup for a tiny shop like us to be able to rival the likes of John Lewis! Flask End has already had the ethos of ‘shop local’ for many years with our produce supplied from local companies such as Moss Valley Fine Meats and Our Cow Molly so it's a delight to expand our suppliers to bring Christmas to our customers during this difficult time.
“We are frantically turning our cafe area into a Christmas emporium complete with shelves trimmed with tinsel and pretty lights - it’s been quite a feat to dismantle half our business including finding a new temporary home for our the 14ft church pew! We understand that travelling is discouraged, but now locals needing to get some exercise around our beautiful Bradfield dams will be able to pop in for a takeaway coffee, buy some stamps, get their fresh bread and veg, and tick off their Christmas shopping list all in one go. We truly are a one stop Christmas shop!”
Danny Dockerty, Area Manager said: “Big congratulations to Bradfield Postmistress Heather Tingle for quickly coming up with a way to support local businesses who had been busy making Christmas gifts to sell. They had been left in the lurch due to lockdown and the pop-up shop at John Lewis not being able to proceed as well as all the Christmas fairs and markets that can’t take place this year.”