‘It’s bittersweet’ - Town centre jewellers closes over social distancing concerns
- Credit: Archant
A jewellers that opened almost half a century ago on the coast has closed due to insufficient space for social distancing.
The branch of Cox’s on Market Row in Great Yarmouth was one of two stores run by the company which continues to trade at its larger premises on Northgate Street.
Michael Cox, manager, and member of the fourth generation of the family to work at the jewellers, said: “We were on Market Row for 48 years but our risk assessment for Covid to keep the public and staff safe was not favourable for the size of the shop.
“It’s bittersweet, but we have to be pragmatic in these times,” he added.
“You couldn’t get people to distance two metres in the shop.
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“As it’s quite a small shop, we could only get one group of customers in at one time and you couldn’t avoid them meeting the next set of people coming in.”
The shop had employed six staff, a mixture of part-time and full-time, and Mr Cox said they will now work at the Northgate Street branch.
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All the jewellery has also been transferred to that premises, which has been trading since 1875.
Closing the town centre store means the company will have to encourage customers to travel a little bit further to Northgate Street, Mr Cox said.
The 47-year-old has worked in the company, where several of his family members are directors, since he was 17.
It was his father, Edward, who opened the branch on Market Row, and prior to that the premises had also been a jewellers called Barker’s
“We’ve seen different generations of families coming to see us to do business,” Mr Cox said.
Although one impact of the coronavirus restrictions has been the cancellation of weddings, Mr Cox said: “I think a lot of people in lockdown have decided to get engaged.
“Business is as steady as it can be,” he added.