Business as unusual – Denude
During these unprecedented times, businesses across the country have been adapting to a new ‘normal’. From increasing their online presence to, in some cases, radically changing the services and products they offer.
Frome prides itself on its streets of flourishing independent retailers. An eclectic mix, including fashion, jewellery, homewares and galleries, not to mention bars and eateries.
We’ve been catching up with retailers across the town to see how the Covid-19 lockdown has affected their business, what they’ve been doing to survive and how the community has responded.
We caught up with Sophie Mullins and business partners Catherine and Oliver Smith from Bath Street’s Denude…
Denude is a minimal waste shop, selling wholefoods, household goods and personal care products. Prior to the lockdown customers were able to weigh then refill their own jars or containers, with dried food or cleaning products from our dispensers.
What are the main changes you’ve made since the lockdown and what challenges have you faced?
As we are categorised as an essential business, we have been able to remain open, but have chosen to reduce our business hours to between 10am-4pm.
We also allow only one customer in the shop at a time, to encourage social distancing, and are refilling containers on our customers’ behalf to minimise physical contact.
What has been the response from your customers?
The response from the local community has been overwhelmingly supportive and entirely positive. We feel extremely lucky to be part of an amazing town which has rallied to support independent businesses.
If/when things return to ‘normal’ will you continue with any of the changes/new services you’ve made or introduced?
As restrictions are lifted, we will continue to follow the government’s guidance and hope to return to trading as before, making the safety of our customers a top priority.
Do you think this experience will have a long-term effect on the direction/focus of your business?
We feel that consumers are becoming more discerning and aware of their impact on the environment. As well as how they can help support independent businesses, by choosing to shop locally. We aim to continue to provide products and services to enable our customers to live more sustainably.