Photography News 78 WEB

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ISSUE 78 16 Jun-13 Jul 2020

Big test: FujifilmX-T4 / The best X-T camera yet? Almost certainly

Open for business?

EXCLUSIVE In episode 6 of The PN Podcast: Charlie Waite in conversation with PN’s editor Will Cheung Listen to it for free!

Lockdown is easing , but the new normal, whatever this will look like, is still some way off. The good news for many of us is that non-essential shops are opening up , but will it be business as usual on our high streets? THIS ISSUE OF Photography News went to print as non-essential retailers were reopening. At least, that was the case in England and Northern Ireland, while in Scotland andWales, at the time of writing, no date for reopening had been set. Photography News contacted a few well-known photo retailers to see what their immediate plans were. On the whole, there was an optimistic response. “Our England stores are opening with reduced hours,” saidWex’s Paul Wareham. “We’re also adopting a one-to-one policy, so the customer is accompanied by a member of staff during their store visit. It means the customer can touch and feel products as normal, then we can identify what has been handled and sanitise it ready for the next customer.” The health and safety of staff and customers is paramount, with many retailers taking steps to prepare the stores for the safety of all concerned. “We will be limiting numbers in-store and there’ll be lots of cleaning – of general surfaces, but also wiping cameras before and after every touch,” explained Roscoe Atkins of Park Cameras. “Our Burgess Hill store will be opening. For our London

CharlieWaite is one of the world’s leading landscape photographers and founder of the Landscape Photographer of theYear contest. In the podcast, he offers advice for photographers during

lockdown, his thoughts on the latest LPOTYand his involvement as a judge for TheArts Society IsolationArtworks Competition. See the show and vote for your favourite artist here: You can listen to the episode for free on the PN website,Apple Podcasts, Spotify or YouTube. •

store, we are trying to work out how safe it will be to travel on the tube, as this is the biggest issue. We will no doubt have to find a way, like other businesses, but perhaps we will review our opening times to avoid rush hours.” Wilkinson Cameras has opened Preston, Liverpool, Warrington, Kendal and Carlisle stores. “Further stores will be opening in the following weeks, assuming all goes well and the Covid-19 situation doesn’t worsen,” saidWilkinson’s David Parkinson. “The new retail world will be very different from the old retail world. However, our staff are keen to return and make the customer experience as normal as possible.” Among the many imponderables is how busy stores will be. Andy Sands of Chiswick Cameras said: “We’re opening Wednesday to Saturday to start with and going to six days probably in July. We’re allowing two customers in the store at a time to ensure social distancing, but apart from that, it should be quite normal.”

A click and collect service is another option retailers are considering. Jason Mitchell of Cameraworld said: “It is not possible to open properly and observe social distancing. However, we are open for a click and collect service from our Stevenage and Chelmsford stores. Customers can discuss their needs with us at the door, over a counter and make purchases there also. This is also an ideal opportunity for customers to drop off their part-exchange items for valuation.” However, the situation is different in Scotland andWales. Steve Byford is MD of Ffordes Photographic , near Inverness. He said: “The shop may not open until later in June, if not July, but we’ve put things in place, like protective screens at counters, masks, gloves and sanitiser stations. We’re also looking to put in an appointment and telecom system to keep everyone safe.” The situation is new to everyone and evolving, so if you’re keen to go shopping, please check stores are open before leaving home, or shop online.

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