More Stone shops have reopened for business – but you may see some changes to the High Street


Traders unable to open their shops during lockdown have returned to a market town once more – and customers have been flocking back too.

Before Monday, just a few shops in Stone were able to let customers in, for food, drink, medicines and other essentials.

But now non-essential stores are able to welcome shoppers back too, although visitors to Stone town centre may notice a few changes. Measures include hand sanitiser at stores and signs outside reminding people of the need for social distancing.

Streetscene operatives from Stafford Borough Council have been putting down yellow stickers in the High Street to help shoppers keep at least two metres away from one another, as well as arrows to direct them to entrances and exits.

Some stores, such as Posy and Jolu, are limiting the number of customers allowed inside at any one time, to make sure everyone can maintain a safe distance.

Stone High Street on Monday

Boutique Josie invited customers to book appointments before visiting the shop on its first day back open. During lockdown, the shop has been trading online.

Owner Tracy Stant said: “We are full today with appointments and tomorrow it will be a ‘one in, one out’ system. It’s been good to see people again – we have missed seeing people as customers become friends.”

Many chain stores, such as WHSmith and Superdrug, remained closed on Monday however, as did most of the town’s charity shops.

But AED Donate, which works with communities to install lifesaving defibrillators in their areas, was inviting customers back through the doors.

Jane Ashley at AED Donate
Jane Ashley at AED Donate

Jane Ashley said: “We have had lots of donations and people wanting to come back to the shop. It’s been great this afternoon.”

Customers were also glad to be able to return to the town centre to support local businesses.

Jan Brown, who queued outside Plants the Jewellers, said: “I’ve been looking forward to Plants reopening because my batteries have gone in my watch. I’ve been waiting since lockdown to replace them.

“It’s a fantastic business and there is a good community here.”

Roni Parker, who was browsing the rails at AED Donate, highlighted the community spirit of Stone’s traders. She said: “It’s really great they’re back open. It’s really important these facilities get back and we shop locally.

“Nick Griffin (of butchers Griffins of Stone) has been out delivering to feed the community. It has been amazing. We have all come together and made such an effort to make sure we get through this together.”

Visitors in Stone High Street
Visitors in Stone High Street

Stone Town Council has also praised the efforts of local businesses – and Mayor Mark Green was out and about on Monday to thank shoppers and traders for their support.

Stone Mayor Mark Green outside Celia's which reopened on Monday in the town centre
Stone Mayor Mark Green outside Celia’s which reopened on Monday in the town centre

Councillor Jill Hood, town and tourism chairman, said: “Some shops in Walton and the High Street have been open throughout the lockdown, doing a tremendous job in continuing to trade while keeping shoppers safe. To them, our town council says a big thank you.

“Now it’s time for our other shops to open and welcome back residents and visitors to our fantastic High Street again.”





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