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Grand Arcade footfall figures a boost on Cambridge reopening as John Lewis and Raspberry Pi return on Thursday




The Grand Arcade team. Picture: Julie Kervadec/Grand Arcade (36751701)
The Grand Arcade team. Picture: Julie Kervadec/Grand Arcade (36751701)

The successful reopening of non-essential shops in the Grand Arcade has exceeded expectations, according to the centres’s manager.

New social distancing measures are in place and one-way guidlines are in operation throughout, but that has not deterred shoppers in the first few days since lockdown restrictions were eased.

“It’s gone very well, better than anticipated,” said Paul Bentham, the Grand Arcade manager.

“We had a higher footfall on opening day than we thought we might get.

“We weren’t sure how well public confidence would be, but we had more than 9,000 visitors through the doors.

“To their credit, most people were following the government’s guidance and keeping their distance, following our marked routes through the centre.

“Tuesday was slightly quieter, probably about two-thirds of the numbers we had on Monday.

“All our retailers that are open have said that people are coming out to buy rather than just browse, which again is good for retail and the economy.

“We’re looking forward to the weekend and seeing how the numbers pan out as that will give us a better indication as to customer confidence.

“We’re getting lots of nice compliments from visitors to our staff on the floors saying how comfortable they feel and it’s not too much of a regimented regime, the flows and routes we have put out.”

The Grand Arcade with its social distancing measures in place. Picture: Julie Kervadec/Grand Arcade (36751718)
The Grand Arcade with its social distancing measures in place. Picture: Julie Kervadec/Grand Arcade (36751718)

It means that the hard work of all the staff and the stores is paying off.

“All the retailers are really working hard to make sure they keep their sales floors as safe as they can and still as welcoming,” said Mr Bentham.

“They have worked extremely hard, as have all my staff in the centre, to get everything prepared so that we can welcome visitors in as safe an environment as we can possibly make.”

John Lewis and Raspberry Pi will both be reopening today (June 18), Russell & Bromley will return next Monday (June 22) and Vodafone on June 23.

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