THERE is no doubt that retail - other than the UK's food stores - has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, but one Wellingborough company currently open for business is Rutherfords Locksmiths; able to trade as an essential retailer.
Rutherfords has been a permanent fixture in Wellingborough since 1955, providing security services and products, backed up by membership of the Master Locksmiths Association. The company provides expert advice on locksmith and security services including door, window and cabinet locks and keys, and padlocks and bars. Rutherfords also carries out contract work with a number of major companies.
Director Tim Nolan said: "With the UK settling down to the current reality of isolation, we have, of course, seen a decline in footfall into the shop - where social-distancing measures have been put in place to protect staff and customers.
"This is clearly a difficult time for shop-workers providing essential services during the coronavirus emergency; however, we are open for business. We are operating with reduced trading hours and a skeleton staff to ensure we can safely serve members of the public and our account customers, to whom we supply essential security goods, as well as providing general locksmith services on call-out."
Fortunately, Rutherfords Locksmiths has moved with the times and also provides a comprehensive online portal available 24/7 - www.rutherfordslocksmiths.co.uk - where further goods such as video doorbells, architectural hardware and locking products are available.
In addition, the company has grown into engraved items and gifts including house signs and key rings, through to watches, lighters and other keepsakes. While normally available in store, Rutherfords Gifts is now only trading online - www.rutherfordsgifts.co.uk - with staff continuing to provide a personal service. This commitment ensures personalised items including popular items such as pens, photo frames and hip flasks, through to the more unusual, such as bird boxes, cheese boards and wine boxes, are still available.
Tim added: "The pandemic is testament to whether retailers can survive when the unknown strikes. Whilst we anticipate a difficult time ahead, with a sharp decline in footfall into the shop, we hope that the diversification of our business, particularly as a multichannel retailer with a physical and online presence - through our websites as well as other popular shopping portals - and with the support of our loyal staff, that we can."
Rutherfords is at 27-28 Market Street, Wellingborough, telephone 01933 279812.