LIKE most of the other retailers in Strabane John Houston can’t wait to see ‘a bit of a buzz’ about the town again.
John, from Houston Homewares was one of a number of local businesses which was able to start operating a ‘click and collect’ service in recent days.
Delighted to be trading again John explained, “I was very relieved to be able to start ‘click and collect’ it is so much better than ‘click and deliver’ which is all we could previously offer.”
Looking back on a bleak three months John is trying to remain optimistic. He said “It was difficult as you had stock that had been pre-ordered arriving when we were closed, but it still had to be paid for.”
With little in the way of fresh or seasonal stock John knows he is in a better position than many other retailers. He said, “It has been ok, it hasn’t been ‘lights out’ but it has certainly been tough. Being able to do ‘click and collect’ from the end of January start of February would have been ideal, it just put a lot more obstacles in our way not being able to do that.”
Looking forward to getting reopened fully at the end of the month John added, “I can’t wait for a bit of a buzz about the town again, I think that’s what everyone is looking forward to. The message from my customers is very much that they can’t wait for things to be open again and to be able to get into the town. It will be good to have the cross-border trade back as well as they haven’t been able to get over at all.”