Robin Mercer, owner of Hillmount, today welcomed the announcement by First Minister Arlene Foster that garden centres in Northern Ireland are to reopen.
Speaking ahead of reopening Robin said: “Our 80 year old family business operates three garden lifestyle centres in Ards, Bangor and Belfast and we have been working hard to ensure that we have installed all the necessary signage and screens to make reopening safe. We have issued our staff with protective equipment and hand sanitisers have been placed throughout the stores for our customers convenience. This announcement makes perfect sense as gardening aids physical and mental health.
“We have been inundated with customers phoning, emailing and messaging us on social media asking when we are going to be open so I know that there are a lot of people planning to come and visit us. We are grateful for this as we have thousands of plants with a short shelf life that have been lovingly grown by growers here, in England and Holland, just waiting to be taken home.
“But I would appeal to people to be sensible about planning their visit to their local garden centre. We cannot cause any undue risk to our staff or our neighbours by people forming long queues of traffic outside our stores. We have social distancing measures in place and would prefer if customers could limit themselves to only one person per household visiting our garden centres. We are only accepting card payments and our cafes will remain closed for the foreseeable future.
“We must approach our reopening with caution as we consider that people are still dying every day from this virus and we will be making sure that everyone’s health and safety is the priority.”
Hillmount is a fourth generation family business with garden lifestyle centres in Ards, Bangor and Belfast. The Mercer family will be celebrating Hillmount’s 80th anniversary this summer. For gardening advice email firstname.lastname@example.org and to shop online visit www.hillmount.co.uk.