During the national period of mourning following the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, retailers have found touching ways to pay tribute to the Queen and bond with those who are grieving.
Community Retailer of the Year finalist Bobby Singh of BB Nevison Superstore & Post Office in Pontefract asked customers to contribute to a memory wall, which is on display at the front of the store, comprising newspaper cuttings, printouts and local people’s artwork.
“It’s been quite an emotional time - speaking to different people from different generations, the elderly know a lot about the Queen and what hand she had in making major decisions for the country,” he told Convenience Store. “It’s been very interesting.
“We had people ring in who had had letters from the Queen, it brings back memories for them,” he said. “We’re proud that our store as a community came together and talked about old times. It’s brought a lot of people and customers together, feeling that emotion.”
@bbnevison Queen memory wall @bbnevison #community #respect #queen #bbnevison #pontefract ♬ I Vow To Thee, My Country - London Festival Orchestra
Up in Blantyre, Glasgow, Premier Mo’s Convenience Store screened the Queen’s funeral and invited customers who may be lonely to come and watch it in store with refreshments. Another local business, Bitta a Bling, was so touched by Mo’s offer that they made bespoke ribbons for customers and staff to wear for the occasion.
“We had sandwiches for lunch and biscuits and tea - we kept them going, and listened to their stories as well - their stories of years gone by, they really enjoyed that side of it,” said store owner Mo Razzaq. “It gave them a chance to talk about things in their life, it triggered memories.
“The biggest problem we have post-covid is loneliness … I was going to be at the shop anyway and staff wanted to come in. It’s a sad occasion and you can do something positive and give something back.”
Meanwhile, Serge Notay of Notay’s Convenience Store in Batley posted a video on social media of a customer reading a poem dedicated to the Queen.
Over in Ashford, Kent, Nisa T&K Foodmart had a banner printed to commemorate the Queen’s life.
One Stop Leamington Spa in Warwickshire displayed a large image of the Queen in-store along with a message of condolence.
While Holborn’s in Redhill, Surrey, flew Union flags at half mast as a symbol of respect and mourning.