Richmond leather company to open first store

The new Berber Leather shop.

A Richmond leather business which was forced to delay its first shop opening due to the coronavirus pandemic will finally welcome visitors this weekend.

Berber Leather took over 4 Trinity Church Square back in February with the plan to open around Easter ready for Richmond’s normal busy tourist season.

However, the lockdown caused the business to move entirely into online sales for the past few months.

“It was really tough” said Beki Stevenson, owner of Berber Leather.

“We had invested so much time and energy into planning events around the opening, and this was the last thing that we had ever thought might happen.”

The company initially cancelled a preview social evening, as the government brought in coronavirus restrictions, but soon had to abandon plans entirely as the nationwide shutdown began. Hope were dashed again in late May, as a government suggestion of shops opening on June 1 was put back until the June 15.

“You have to look for the positives in this situation,” said Beki.

“It’s meant that we have been able to spend more time getting the displays looking absolutely perfect ready for opening day, and although we’ve had to postpone any social events we had planned even further into the future we are hoping we may still be able to do them later in the year when the company will celebrate its fifth birthday.”

Plans for the shop to be compliant with government guidelines have been put in place, with a plastic screen round the till, markings on the floor and hand sanitiser available for all customers.

The shop will also operate a restricted numbers policy with only 2 customers allowed in at a time.

“We know this is a tough time for all businesses, but we do feel like we’ve had that extra level of disappointment with not even being able to reach our first day of trading in our Trinity Church Square location.

“We would love to see as many people as possible in our first few weeks now we are able to open, even if it’s just to say hello!”

Berber Leather will open to the public, at 4 Trinity Church Square on the June 15 at 10am.

All of Berber Leather’s Products are available on their website at www.berberleather.com