Kirkcaldy after lockdown: Great to be back say retailers
It was a busy day for shops in Kirkcaldy High Street on Monday after they were finally able to re-open after four months due to restrictions easing.
Scotland had been in level four lockdown since December 26, with all non-essential shops having to stay shut.
But in a positive step forward this week, the country was moved down to level three allowing all non-essential shops, gyms, pubs, restaurants and cafes to open their doors.
The move has been welcomed by shops in Kirkcaldy with staff back in stores and reporting a busy first day back.
Gina Gardiner, manager at New Look, said: “It has been really good to be back – it has been a long time coming. We opened at 9am on Monday and it was a busy, busy day. Customers were loving being back and it was great to see them shopping local and staying in their own community.
"We have two metre distancing already in place and sanitisers in store. We have been back for the past two weeks doing a clean up and preparing for re-opening again but to get back trading on Monday was really good.”
Meanwhile, Nick McLean, manager at Waterstone’s, said the store had a ‘bumper day’ on Monday: “It was lovely to be open again on Monday and it was a bumper day for us.
"We just had so many people saying how chuffed they were to be back in the store, and it was also nice to see Kirkcaldy High Street up and swinging again. The attitude to the High Street has changed a lot – there are new shops which have moved in and there is a more upbeat feeling about it.
"Our book shop is brain food for people and it is a stimulating place for people to be educated and to expand their horizons beyond Kirkcaldy. This has been much needed for people who have struggled during the last lockdown which was really tough.
"Everyone has been pleased to see us back open, particularly as we have lots of new books in. People have read all the books they have so it is good for people to access new reading material.
"The last year the bookshop has been doing well – it is a really positive jewel in this high street.”
Louise Canny, who owns Eloise Jewellery, said: “It has been fantastic having customers back through the door and people being able to get what they have been waiting on for a long time. There is a massive sense of relief for people and I think with many people being vaccinated they feel relatively safe as well.
"I have been coming in throughout lockdown to get the shop ready for re-opening. Things are looking great for the high street and the market has been a great success – we now have it on a Saturday and the first one was really busy.”
Johnny Sinclair, who owns antique and vintage collectables shop, Methuselah’s, opened his shop on Tuesday. He added: “I have deliveries coming in and it is great to be busy once again. Have had a few customers in so far and lots of goodies for people to come in and have a look at! I’m really happy to be back.”