PENARTH high street was ‘alive’ and bustling today as non-essential shops reopened across Wales.
Covid rules have been relaxed to allow non-essential retail and close-contact services to resume in Wales, as well as England.
With the lockdown easing for many businesses for the first time since December, shoppers seem eager for some retail therapy.
Traders across the town have also loved having their loyal customers return, and seeing some ‘familiar faces’ that they haven’t been able to over the last three and a half months.
Funky Monkey’s, on Windsor Road, owned by Justin and Rebecca Horton, opened today for the first time since December 20, using that time to refit the shop to make more space for customers when they’re shopping.
“We’ve been waiting for this for so long,” said Mr Horton.
“Everyone’s talking nine to the dozen, and we’ve seen some friendly faces again.”
Despite being in lockdown, Mr Horton says the business has been “very busy” with an online shop and investing in a new till system for when they could eventually reopen – as well as ordering some new stock for the year.
“We’re just really relieved to be open and absolutely blown away by the support,” he added.
“It’s gone so well today.”
Ener-Chi, on Hickman Road, a wellness centre owned by Judy Minsuso said the team are “excited” to be reopen and love having their customers back.
“We want to thank everyone for supporting us through the lockdown to enable us to reopen successfully now,” she said.
“There’s never been more of a time when wellness is needed. So hopefully, now that we’re open people can get their much wanted wellbeing treatments.”
Ener-Chi provide a range of treatments and services, and stock a variety of beauty, aromatherapy and herbal products, including Dr Hauschka, L’Occitane and many other leading brands.
In the Vale of Glamorgan, the Shop Local Penarth campaign is encouraging residents to support their local traders, who have faced tough times.
Mel Griffin, owner of Griffin Books, said the reopening day for her has been “calm and civilised”.
“It’s been managable,” she said.
“People have really enjoyed browsing around. The town feels alive again today.”
For those wanting to support their local traders, but are not ready to head to the shops just yet, new virtual marketplace for the town’s independent shops and businesses has been launched to give shoppers the opportunity to buy from their favourite places online in one place.