15.06.2020: Phil Penman of Eel Pie Records in Twickenham outlines how the store has been busy preparing for this week’s reopening after the lockdown.
UK Music Acting CEO Tom Kiehl visited Eel Pie Records in Twickenham, London, ahead of re-opening to see how the store had adapted to ensure Covid-19 safety measures.
We closed our shop a few days ahead of the official lockdown. Prior to that, our online sales were negligible – literally fewer than a handful each week. In the following weeks, we made a huge effort to list our stock online, both new and second-hand. We have now have over 5,000 lines available.
Over three years we have built up a strong and loyal customer base, with great local brand awareness and social media presence. Our offer of free home delivery within reasonable distance made a great impact and we have been busy out on our bikes making deliveries. Our customers have been able to browse online, buy local, and stay at home.
The majority of our deliveries have been made on the same day, and we have been maintaining distancing on the doorstep, as well as carrying hand sanitiser with us. One of our customers gave us the hashtag #eelsonwheels which certainly captured the mood.
The Team at Eel Pie Records taking safety precautions when serving customers.
With Government advice that non-essential retail can reopen from June 15 (who says music is non-essential’!?), we have been busy preparing to reopen the shop. We share a premises with two other businesses, so we have created a separate entrance through the back door to enable our customers to enter our shop without passing through the others.
We are limiting the number of customers in the shop to three or four at any one time, and will keep this under review. Customers will be expected to maintain distancing. Our shop is big enough for this and small enough for us to be able to oversee at all times.
We are providing hand sanitiser gel for use on the way in and the way out of the store to make it possible for people to browse with clean hands and leave with clean hands. Disposable gloves are also being provided.
We will carry on our offer for free local delivery for the foreseeable future, particularly in mind of those who are self-isolating, vulnerable or at risk, or simply not ready yet to venture into shops.
We just can’t wait to welcome customers back!