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We’ve got a one way system in the shop so customers come in, hand sanitise and then it’s one way around the shop. We’ve also removed all of the seating downstairs so there’s only seating upstairs now, and quite a lot of the displays have been removed so you can walk around in a circle without bumping into anybody else.
Previously you could stand right in front of the cheese and charcuterie fridges and read all the labels and get up close and personal, but we’ve got now a bit more of a traditional layout. The low level counters are in front and the customers stay on the other side of those while we serve from behind those, with the cheese behind us. There’s always one member of staff in the deli area to welcome a customer in because that’s one of the first things customers see on their one way around. The layout hasn’t hindered that much, there’s only been one or two people saying they cant read the signs so you have to think about things like bigger signage.
Luckily we have a lot of repeat customers, which is our bread and butter like a lot of speciality shops. As a city centre store we have been hit quite badly by all this because the city almost closed down, its been a very slow rebuild of people having the confidence to come back into Nottingham city centre.
With the masks on, and when the older generation in particular walks in store, it can be quite intimidating because they rely on reading lips a lot, which is why we found people are struggling to make a connection. We’ve had a lot of briefings with the staff about the need to be patient. All those things that you take for granted when communicating, we now need to take a step back and think about whether the person can hear.
To be fair, it’s all been positive, and it’s all coming a little bit back now. We are now looking at how to provide all the things that Delilah used to provide before but more sanitised and smaller. It’s a different-look Delilah but it’s also taught us a bit more about how we can improve ourselves and given us the time to think about things.