'It's hard to take' - Northumberland retailer's shock at lockdown 2 policies

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A Northumberland retail leader has expressed shock at the decision to bring in a new national lockdown.

Lisa Aynsley, chairman of Alnwick Chamber of Trade, fears the move will be disastrous for many retailers reliant on pre-Christmas trade.

"I was shocked,” said Lisa, owner of menswear shop Hotspur 1364. “It was the last thing I expected to see.

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"I’m not sure if it’s necessary but it’s hard to say because it depends on your personal circumstances. If you family has been affected, I understand why you would want lockdown.”

Lisa Aynsley, chairman of Alnwick Chamber of Trade.Lisa Aynsley, chairman of Alnwick Chamber of Trade.
Lisa Aynsley, chairman of Alnwick Chamber of Trade.

She is particularly concerned at the loss of trade at a key time of the year.

"The extension of furlough is welcome but this is a key trading time for us,” said Lisa. “A lot of businesses were banking on this period to drag them out. We are all going into next year with more debt and Christmas was the last chance for many to make some money.”

The fear is that lockdown will last longer than the four week period outlined by Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

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Lisa said: "I remember thinking that the first lockdown would last about three weeks and, of course, it went on for three months so I’m not confident at all that it will end on December 2.”

Elsewhere, Norma Arthur, owner of Amble Pin Cushion, hopes website orders, deliveries and collections will help overcome the shop’s closure.

She said: “My personal point of view is that this lockdown is well overdue, and should have happened over half term.

"School holidays are a big retail boost for us, and we also have a holiday cottage, so we would certainly have lost a lot of money, but having a life is more important than having a business.”

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