Shoppers urged to plan town centre visit carefully

Shoppers are urged to carefully plan their visit to Northampton town centre, as retail outlets begin to reopen from tomorrow (Monday, 15 June).

Town centre managers have made some useful points consider ahead of any shopping trip, to help make a visit the best it can be, under current circumstances and restrictions.

As with food shopping, everyone will be required to observe social distancing guidance and stay at least two metres apart, and retailers will have safety measures in place within their stores.

• Capacity at all shops will be limited and queuing systems will be in operation

• If queues stretch beyond the entire frontage of a shop, you will need to revisit later

• Toilet and baby change facilities will be limited

• Not all stores will reopen, so check retailer’s websites or social media channels for updates

• Taking the whole family shopping during the first few weeks of reopening might not be the best idea

On Monday, 15 June, all levels of the Grosvenor car park will be fully open, the Mayorhold multi-storey will be open, and parking in all Borough Council-controlled surface and multi-storey car parks will remain free of charge until Sunday, 28 of June, with normal charges resuming on Monday, 29 June.

Hand sanitiser stations will be available in town centre multi-storey parks and throughout Grosvenor Shopping, but visitors are advised to carry their own too.

Signage throughout the town will remind everyone of the need to socially distance, to protect their own health and the health of their friends and families, and the wider community.

Cllr Jonathan Nunn, Northampton Borough Council Leader, said: “I’m sure everyone will be pleased that stores will start to reopen from Monday, giving us a chance to support our local retailers and help them weather the economic hardships caused by Coronavirus.

“That said, it’s worth bearing in mind that this will be a very different experience from what we’re all used to.

“We’re doing what we can to ensure visits to Northampton town centre are as safe as possible, and the same principles apply, no matter where you choose to shop.

“I would urge everyone to plan their trip carefully, to ensure they have the best possible experience, and avoid some of the likely challenges the restrictions may cause.”

Mark Mullen, BID Operations Manager, added: “We are committed to supporting our town centre businesses, who are working very hard to reopen and provide customers with a safe, enjoyable shopping experience. Please keep an eye on the BID’s website for information.

“As shops re-open, we will start populating our online business directory, to help shoppers see which businesses are open and any changes to trading. We will continue working closely with Northampton Borough Council, Northamptonshire County Council and Grosvenor Shopping, to ensure that our town centre is as safe and as pleasurable to visit as possible.”

Northampton Borough Council is working with Northampton Town Centre BID, Northamptonshire County Council and Grosvenor Shopping to reopen the town centre.