Sales may only take place outside, though
Clothing stores, furniture stores and gift shops must all close, but in Groningen an exception is being made for florists: they can continue with their sales, but only outside. “I have seldom been so happy!,” says Fleur Kemps, who, together with her husband Dennis Slotegraaf, runs the ‘Bloemenwereld’ flower shop on Bordewijklaan and the flower stall on Hereplein in Groningen. As reported by the GIC.
Fleur was told by the trade association at around 20:00 on Monday evening that outside sales are allowed during the lockdown. “That was really a huge relief. We still have dozens of Christmas trees here, and a shop full of fresh flowers: imagine if we had to throw all that away?”
Because it was not clear on Monday if flower and Christmas tree sales could continue, it was extremely busy in the store. “Many people came by to give us a helping hand. I have had customers crying in the store because they thought it was so bad for us. ” Meanwhile, there were also lots of sales: flowers, Christmas pieces, Christmas trees. “We have rarely had such a high turnover.”
The shop on Bordewijklaan has recently undergone a major renovation, but is now being completely renovated again. “Our shop is closing. We are now turning it into a temporary workshop and flower shop. Fortunately we have a few large awnings outside under which we can continue with the sales. Nothing will change on Hereplein. “We already sold outdoors there.”
The relief is great, but there is also a downside. “Sure, we are very happy that we can remain open: we have been working hard to get to where we are now. But I also feel burdened towards all those shopkeepers and catering entrepreneurs: they have to sit on the sidelines. I think that’s really bad.”
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