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Early queues as DIY shops reopen

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Carolyn Brady and Liz Kelly out shopping at Horkan’s Garden Centre, which re-opened on Monday

Carolyn Brady and Liz Kelly out shopping at Horkan’s Garden Centre, which re-opened on Monday

The queue outside Woodie's

The queue outside Woodie's

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Carolyn Brady and Liz Kelly out shopping at Horkan’s Garden Centre, which re-opened on Monday

Woodie's DIY in Bray opened its doors early on Monday morning, as queues had begun to form outside from 7am.

At 7.30am Woodie's decided to open their doors early to reduce customer waiting time, alleviate the build-up of queues and to facilitate a smoother flow of customers into the store.

The company has spent over half a million euros on safety measures in stores across the country in preparation for re-opening.

Safety measures include sanitation stations at the front of every store where all customers must sanitise their hands before entering the store (even if already wearing gloves), perspex screens on all checkouts, face shields, masks and t-shirts reminding everyone to stay 2 metres apart. They have also issued a tub of hand cream for every colleague as they are being encouraged to repeatedly wash their hands throughout the day.

The stores have gradually been re-stocked over the last two months as the supply chain has steadily increased.

'It feels like the right time to open,' said CEO of Woodie's Declan Ronayne. 'It has been a difficult period for everyone and we believe DIY and gardening has an important role to play in the mental health for most of us who remain largely confined to our homes and gardens. Our stocks are more than sufficient to meet ongoing demand so there is no reason to rush to your local store or to bulk buy. In that way we can ensure the safest possible DIY shopping environment for everyone.'

Scott's for Tools, a small family business on the Main Street in Bray, had a shorter queue waiting at the door, but was busy nonetheless from early morning.

'Everyone is happy to wait and they're very patient,' said Carol Scott, who owns the business along with her husband Frankie Scott. They have been there for around 17 years.

'We were here early to put up another screen,' said Carol. She said that being closed had been tough. 'We're not the only people in that position, so you try to make the best of a bad situation.'

She said that they had put a post on Facebook on Sunday night announcing that they would re-open and were then inundated with queries about stock. 'It's great to be open,' said Carol, who would be used to working six days a week, and was running out of things to do at home!

Down the N11 at Horkans of Glen O' The Downs, there was a queue outside the front door from early morning. 'We have a one-way system set up,' said manager Eoin Kennelly. He said that people are getting in and out and 'efficiently shopping'.

Generally, people will have a fair idea of what they want, and focus on finding it. Browsing is allowed, but not for a long time and people are very aware of that.

'People are being fantastic,' said Eoin. They're patient and cooperative.'

There is a list of instructions at the door, and hand sanitiser.

Horkans was operating a click and collect service from the store all along, but the staff are all pleased to get back to working with customers.

'We're very happy to have people back in, to see them and say hello and have that human interaction,' said Eoin. He said that the customers seem to feel the same and have been thanking them for being open.

Bray People