Garden centres in Dorset were preparing to reopen today following the government announcement to begin reducing lockdown restrictions.
Dobbies Garden Centre in Owermoigne, Poundbury Gardens in Dorchester and Castle Gardens in Sherborne were among those opening their doors after being closed for seven weeks.
Several measures are being put in place including one-way systems for customers to follow and a restriction on the amount of people allowed in at one time.
In addition to this, general browsing will be strongly discouraged and all three stores will be requesting payment by card where possible.
Graeme Jenkins, CEO of Dobbies, said: “We have taken care to ensure we are following guidance provided by the Government, British Retail Consortium and Horticultural Trade Association to reopen responsibly.
“Our team is well prepared, social distancing measures are in place and we look forward to welcoming customers back .
“I would like to thank our team members and customers for their understanding during these uncertain times.”
A drive-through compost shop has also been introduced at Poundbury Gardens and Castle Gardens, for those who just need a few bags and customers will be encouraged to purchase larger items, such as garden furniture, by taking the relevant barcodes to the till, where staff will arrange for free home delivery.
Mike Burks, managing director of The Gardens Group, said: “We’re delighted to be welcoming customers back into our garden centres, as we know just how important gardening is to many across the region, especially at a time when other outdoor pursuits are so limited.
“We’ll be taking a big step towards normality as garden centres reopen, and we’re ready to do all we can to make this work for the good of both customers and staff.”
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