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Inverness salon makes way for city menswear store during coronavirus lockdown

By Ian Duncan

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Keith McCaffery and Alison McRitchie.
Keith McCaffery and Alison McRitchie.

An Inverness salon that is not allowed to reopen yet has offered its premises to another business facing restrictions.

Under current coronavirus lockdown easing plans hairdressers will not be allowed to reopen until July 15 – while most premises in the Eastgate Shopping Centre cannot welcome customers back until July 13 because they are not classed as essential traders and do not have an on-street entrance.

In what she said was a “sign of solidarity” in hard times however, Alison McRitchie of Head Gardener is temporarily giving over her salon premises in Church Street to menswear store owner Keith McCaffery to operate as a pop up shop until they can both start trading more normally again.

He runs Cafferys Designerwear, normally based in the Eastgate centre.

“I thought if it works, and he can move his stock in here, then he has got an outside front door to comply with the regulations,” she said. “I can’t use my premises anyway.

“We’ve also got sanitising measures in place.”

Mr McCaffery said he really appreciated the gesture and was looking forward to getting back to work as soon as possible.

“I’ve got to do everything I can,” he said.

“I am not sure how much money we will make over the next two weeks.”

He said people had been calling for businesses to reopen and he planned to open the new “pop-up” premises yesterday with a 50 per cent off clearance sale of stock.

Current plans will see him occupy the Church Street site until July 11 with social distancing measures in place, including allowing just two customers in at a time.

Mrs McRitchie, meanwhile, said the salon was set to reopen as soon as regulations allow.

The Courier reported previously how she has been using lockdown to make sure the premises are organised to reduce the risk of coronavirus infection, including putting staff through additional hygiene training.

Mrs McRitchie is currently hopeful of being able to bring her full team back after lockdown ends – with the salon already fully booked for appointments until October.

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