Liverpool is full of activity once again since non-essential shops were able to reopen along with other venues.
In the city centre shoppers have flocked in their masses to shop at retailers in L1, but also to much-loved independents.
Beth Crosbie is a manager at Resurrection, a vintage clothing shop on Bold Street.
She was thrilled to welcome customers back last week.
Beth said: “The first Monday was a bit intense, it was quite crazy. It was the not knowing whether we would have loads of people or just one person. But we were really busy and we were happy with how it went, it was great.”
Resurrection was founded in 1991 and is an example of Liverpool’s triumphant independents who have weathered the instability of retail.
As a manager in retail, Beth found the last year stressful with the frequent closing and re-opening due to nationwide lockdowns.
She said: “The last year has been really hard. It’s difficult when you don’t know if you’re even going to be open the next day.
“I had to make sure my staff were okay and worry about stock. It would be like: ‘Well we’ve sold out of this shirt but should we order or should we wait and see?’ We had to take everything day by day.”
Bryan Kernaghan of Kernaghan Books in Bluecoats was also keen to get customers safely back through the door.
Bryan said: “It’s been absolutely great to welcome folks back in, usually with their stories about how much they’ve been looking forward to this. One couple we know well said that apart from the supermarket this was their first place they wanted to come.”
“Getting people in and able to hold a physical book in their hand and seeing the joy it brings, reminds us of how important books are to people.”
The support had encouraged Bryan and his wife, Alwyn, who have had their bookshop for over 30 years.
Originally based in Southport, Kernaghan Books moved to Liverpool eight years ago and have become part of Liverpool’s independent community.
Bryan said: “In a city like Liverpool the importance of independence is huge, no matter the sector. We do it in our own way and some people love that, and there’ll be other shops in town who do things differently and have their own customer base.
There’s a good vibe, a good sense of collegiality and sharing people’s interests and what works for each person.”
For now, Liverpool city centre is buzzing with activity.
Shop owners and staff are hopeful that this is it now, and they won’t be faced with further closures.
For more on retail reopening visit here.