Tackling Lockdown: Christmas period 'make-or-break' for longstanding independent store

The Quilting in the Meadows store on Meadow Street.

Quilting in the Meadows is running a delivery service for knitters throughout lockdown. - Credit: Deborah Gibson

One of Weston’s oldest independent store’s owner believes the upcoming Christmas period will be make-or-break for the business.

Quilting in the Meadows, found on Meadow Street, was purchased by Deborah Gibson in 2001.

In the nearly 20 years of running the quilting store, Deborah believes the coronavirus pandemic is the biggest challenge it has faced.

She said: “By far this has been the biggest threat to its survival.

“There is a massive pressure, for most independent stores, to sell things at Christmas. It will be make-or-break for us.”

The business depends heavily on its wide-range of sewing classes for income, something Covid-19 has prevented.

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Deborah added: “Classes can not be run at the moment for safety reasons - they are not expected to return for at least the remainder of 2020.”

Christmas lockdown products from Quilting in the Meadows

Quilting in the Meadows continues to operate using click-and-collect, Monday-Friday. - Credit: Quilting in the Meadows

Quilting in the Meadows has had to adapt in order to recoup income otherwise gained through its classes.

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The introduction of a delivery system has been a huge success, both business-wise and in terms of safety.

“We would not have designed a delivery system without the lockdown but it is something we will continue to use.

“The biggest change to running the business during the pandemic is the awkward hours - they are not set anymore. There is much more effort being put in to survive and we [store owners] all hope the public can support us by shopping local.”

Selection of hand-made facemasks.

Quilting in the Meadows provides hand-made facemasks for £3.50. - Credit: Quilting in the Meadows

The store has continued to operate through the second lockdown by using a click-and-collect service between 10am-2pm from Monday to Friday.

The delivery system is also still in place for customers, offering free delivery for orders over £10 within a two-mile radius - a "small mileage charge" applies for orders outside this area.

To support Quilting in the Meadows visit their Facebook page @QuiltingInTheMeadows or log on to their website www.quiltinginthemeadows.co.uk

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