One of Keswick’s longest-established independent retail businesses is once again trading in the town after reopening following lockdown.
The 130-year-old John Young Furnishings still has its traditional historic double-fronted shop on Main Street, but is operating only from its modern-look gallery at the rear of the property at present.
The fine furniture retailer first opened its doors in the summer of 1890 when the store was set up by the great grandparents of present owner John Young, who opted to emerge from lockdown by reopening the large gallery to provide the safest shopping experience for staff and customers.
John, who is the fourth generation of the family to own and run the shop, said: “We thought long and hard about the best way to reopen and felt the gallery gave everyone the best opportunity to shop with social distancing in mind.
“We were initially concerned that not opening the front shop would be an issue, but we’ve had a gallery since 2003, so we felt most local people would know where we were.
“It is great to be open again, and we were delighted to welcome a steady stream of local customers. They already knew what they wanted to buy so we had a very encouraging start.
“Being positive about the current situation, we’ve found that there are a few regular visitors to Keswick who didn’t realise we had a gallery at the back and they’ve now found us.
“And we are seeing more visitors exploring all of Keswick, venturing down the alleys, discovering more of what the town has to offer — including our gallery.”
As tourists descend on Keswick, the demands on the business have changed.
Manager Liz Weightman has spent more time on appointments in store and has started visiting homes of customers looking to refresh their interiors.