Delivery service was a ‘game changer’ but your local shops need support

James Findlay has urged people to support their independent high street shops. Picture: Google/Findl

James Findlay has urged people to support their independent high street shops. Picture: Google/Findlay Wines - Credit: Findlay Wines/Google

During the coronavirus lockdown, many businesses came to the community’s aid delivering not only their own products but vital food shopping and prescriptions.

Now that life is returning to something like normal, the community is being asked to be there for the businesses which have been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic.

James Findlay, of Findlay Wines in Budleigh, was forced to close his shop during lockdown but compensated for it by offering a delivery service for his customers.

He found that as the supermarkets were reserving delivery spots for the most vulnerable in the community, customers were coming to him to get their wine and other items delivered.

However, some customers returned to the superstores to get their wines once some lockdown restrictions were lifted and delivery slots were more readily available.

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Mr Findlay said his delivery service was a ‘game changer’ for his business and urged people to support their independent traders this winter.

He said: “People really responded positively and trade was up.

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“The High Street was empty so the delivery service allowed me to adapt. When the pubs and supermarkets were shut it limited people’s choices.

“However, it’s actually quieter now than it was during lockdown.”

James has been working in Budleigh since 2007 and launched his own business in 2013 before moving into a town centre premises in 2018.

James is looking forward to what usually is one of the busiest periods for shops as Christmas draws closer, but is uncertain how this year will look for his business with the uncertainty over the Covid-19 pandemic. He added: “I am actually busier than I was this time last year, so lockdown benefitted me, but people are starting to go back to the supermarkets.

“If you don’t support the local businesses you’re going to have no High Street left.”

The Journal, in partnership with its sister titles the Midweek Herald and Sidmouth Herald is running its #ShopLocal campaign this winter.

The campaign has already gained support from chef Michael Caines, who uses Exmouth crabs and produce from Darts Farm at his Lympstone Manor Hotel.

East Devon MP Simon Jupp has also urged people to support their local businesses.

Read their columns in this title.

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