Shoppers are set to fall in love with a new-look charity shop when it reopens on Valentine’s Day.
The East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH) store in Norwich Road, Long Stratton, is undergoing a major refit and will celebrate with a host of special discounts, starting on Monday.
New flooring is being laid and the layout of the store is changing, giving the premises a welcome facelift.
It closed last weekend and, although a ‘soft’ opening is planned for Saturday, staff and volunteers are looking forward to a proper celebratory reopening at 9am on Monday.
The shop is more than 25 years old and existed as an independent charity store supporting Quidenham (EACH’s former Norfolk hospice, before The Nook opened in November 2019) before EACH was formed as a charity across East Anglia.
Shop manager Rachael Fretter said: “I can’t wait to see the changes. These are very exciting times and I hope the improvements have a positive impact.
“The new floor will look great and transform the whole feel of the place.
“With all our stock having been moved, we’ve taken the opportunity to remerchandise the whole shop.
“Regular customers will notice lots of changes and the plan is to run different promotions every day next week.
“These will include special discounts and it’s fitting that our full reopening is on Valentine’s Day. Hopefully customers will fall in love with the changes.”
Rachael started as a volunteer in November 2007, when the shop was a single unit. Now it occupies two units within the Ice House Precinct.
She joined as paid staff in January 2020, in a part-time capacity as deputy shop manager, before becoming shop manager in August 2020.
Melanie Warner-Taylor, EACH Retail Area Manager North/East, added: “This is such an exciting project and it’s a golden opportunity to make radical changes, because there’s no denying the shop was beginning to look a little dated.
“We’re turning it upside down, moving things around, and I’m confident our customers will love what they see and find.
“We can’t wait to welcome them back and reopen with a splash on Monday.”
EACH has 44 shops scattered across East Anglia.
The Long Stratton store was among the first five to reopen following the first national lockdown and, because of the easy parking outside, it receives lots of donations from the public.
Rachael and her team are always keen to hear from anyone who might be interested in volunteering.
If you can spare some time, even just a couple of hours a week, email firstname.lastname@example.org
EACH supports families and cares for children and young people with life-threatening conditions across Norfolk and East Anglia.
It has three hospices, including one at Framingham Earl, near Norwich.
Pictured from left are Rachael Fretter (shop manager), Jacqui Petrie (volunteer), Sally Rix (relief and cluster manager), Rowan Gaskin (relief and support manager) and Fiona Aldridge (sales assistant).