Orwell to re-open on 1 June, with restrictions

We’re really looking forward to fully reopening our dealership, in line with the current government guidelines, on Monday 1 June.

The workshop is already back up and running, with suitable social distancing restrictions for both staff and customers, and now we’re due to open the showroom and parts departments to the public again. It’s not going to be life as we knew it so we’re urging our customers to follow some simple restrictions to keep us all as safe as possible.

It’s the next step in getting back to some sense of normality, having been closed for 10 weeks because of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

The lockdown came at a very busy time of the year for us, when many people are buying new bikes or having them serviced ready for summer, so it’s great to be opening again, even if we’re having to adapt the way we do business.

Director Dave Willis said: “This is the way we have to operate at the moment. It’s better to be open with restrictions than not at all.

“Before the Coronavirus pandemic we loved having a showroom full of bikers and customers but, although we’re going to be open again, please don’t expect to just be able turn up and have a chat and a cup of coffee.

“We’d love to have people popping in and socialising but, unfortunately, we can’t allow it at the moment or we’ll be back to square one.”

The safety of our staff and customers is of paramount importance, so we’re taking special measures and reorganising the showroom as follows:

  • We’re limiting the number of customers in the showroom, at any one time, to those buying bikes, parts, accessories and clothing. Please don’t stay longer than you need to… as much as we loved you doing so in the past!
  • Please use the hand sanitiser available at the front desk when you arrive.
  • A ‘one-way system’ will be operating in the showroom and to the Parts department. There will be arrows to follow and we’ve cordoned off some walkways to maintain social distancing.
  • The coffee machine and seating area will be closed off.
  • The main toilets will be closed to customers but the accessible toilet will be available for ‘emergencies’
  • You can look at bikes but please don’t touch them. If you want to sit on a bike, or examine it close up, please speak to one of the sales team.
  • If you want to speak to our sales team about buying a bike, please make an appointment. Sales staff will be at their desks and limited to one customer at each desk.
  • Only one customer at a time will be allowed at each of the two open positions on the Parts counter. The exit route will be clearly marked.
  • There will be additional safety measures in the clothing and helmet areas. Specific hygiene guidelines apply here so we urge people not to try on any clothing, particularly helmets and gloves, without speaking to a member of staff first.
  • You can only use the workshop if your bike is pre-booked. We’re currently working through bookings made before the lockdown so please be patient. Please park in the marked area at the front of the shop, make your way inside to the service reception and hand your key over. We’ll call you when your bike is ready for collection and we'd prefer to take payment over the phone if possible so there’s no physical contact.
  • Our demo bike fleet will be available but please book a test ride in advance, so we can complete the necessary paperwork over the phone. After each demo ride, the bike’s handlebars and contact points will be properly sanitised.

“You’re going to be able to view all the bikes and the one-way system will also take you to the Parts counter,” Dave explained.

“If you’re interested in a particular bike, and don’t want to come to the shop, we can film a walk-round of it and send it to you by email or via data transfer software. We also hope to build a video library of our used bikes.

“We’re limiting the number of customers in the showroom so you might have to queue, if no one is free to talk to you. If so, please be aware of social distancing. It will work better if people make appointments to see our sales team,” said Dave.

Business during lockdown, limited to online and phone sales, was a bit like the winter – slow and steady.

“We’ve had a lot of inquiries through our website and sold some bikes which have been delivered by staff members who were not furloughed. To be honest, business was better than I had expected,” he said.

“But we’re glad to be opening again. It’s not going to be ‘business as usual’ but it’ll be the best we can do for the time being. Thank you for bearing with us.”