H.Samuel confirms the closure of its Wisbech branch
- Credit: Archant
H.Samuel has confirmed its Wisbech branch at the Horsefair will not reopen when coronavirus lockdown measures are eased this month.
A poster at the front of the jeweller’s is directing customers to its King’s Lynn branch.
In an email, a spokesman for Signet Group of jewellery retailers which owns H.Samuel, said: “Yes, our H.Samuel store in Wisbech is closing.
“The Referral Store for customers is H.Samuel in King’s Lynn, 70 High Street, Kings’ Lynn, PE30 1AY (14 miles away).”
He added: “This store [King’s Lynn] is yet to reopen since it was temporarily closed in late March, however, we are planning to open it on June 15.”
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Customers who had ordered or left items for repair at the Wisbech store are being contacted individually about next steps.
A statement released by Signet Group this afternoon said: “Amid this challenging pandemic and fluid business conditions, some stores will permanently close starting this month on a store by store basis.
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“We are proactively contacting customers of stores identified for closure to assist them with questions, conveniently connecting them with their jewellery and informing them of their referral store.”
The spokesman would not disclose how many jobs the Wisbech closure would affect, nor how many of its stores are closing across the country.
He explained the group is looking to roll out a new online shopping service after a ‘Live Advice’ feature was introduced to the Ernest Jones website, a sister brand.
The statement said: “During the ten weeks that the H.Samuel and Ernest Jones brands temporarily closed their stores on March 24 to help stop the spread of COVID-19, the brands have reimagined how they serve customers.”
The Ernest Jones ‘Live Advice’ is a video service that connects online customers with ‘product matched experts using immersive HD live video’.
However both H.Samuel and Ernest Jones websites have been “experiencing technical difficulties” this morning.
H.Samuel was founded in 1862. The branch in Wisbech, located opposite Costa and close to the Horsefair’s Market Place entrance, has been a longstanding feature of the shopping centre which officially opened in 1988.
The Horsefair Shopping Centre has been approached for comment.
Non-essential shops across the country - including department stores, high street shops and shopping centres - are due to reopen on June 15 as part of the government’s plan to ease the coronavirus lockdown.
Retailers must be able to prove their premises are ‘COVID-secure’ before they can allow customers to enter.
On reopening stores following the coronavirus lockdown, the Signet Group statement said: “This month, the brands will safely reopen stores, taking a measured and thoughtful approach in keeping with national health and government guidelines.
“To ensure a safe shopping environment, we have created new, robust store cleaning protocols and training for employees.
“While H. Samuel and Ernest Jones will continue to offer a quality customer experience, they will operate differently, with more frequent and visible cleaning procedures and the use of social distancing that reduces the number of people inside a store.“