The Bath family delivering parcels by bike to customers during lockdown

There is no doubt that the second lockdown is hitting small businesses hard - particularly shops forced to close their doors. 

But for some, it has been an opportunity to offer a unique customer experience.

If you buy online from The Silver Shop in Bath and live locally, you will now receive your parcel hand-delivered by the owner’s wife and children.

Since the first lockdown, Hannah Douglas and her children have clocked up more than 500 miles on their electric bike in deliveries.

The Douglas family have cycled more than 500 miles around Bath delivering parcels.

Hannah said: 'We needed to do everything we could to keep the business going, so we all decided as a family we'd hop on the bike and do deliveries locally to the Bath area.

“People are generally intrigued when we turn up with two children on the bike in all weather. It’s a really nice way of making sure people can remember us.”

The Douglas family get their children to hand over the parcels to customers.

The second lockdown has been tough for the business - normally The Silver Shop would take ten percent of its annual income in the last two weeks of November.

Like other small businesses, it is relying on online sales during lockdown. 

But it is their unique delivery service which is keeping the relationship going with customers.

Guy Douglas, owner of The Silver Shop of Bath

Shop owner Guy, who is Hannah's husband, said: “I think it's really important local and independent shops are able to offer more.

"We've always felt service is hugely important and this is the best way we can give good service now.

We very often let our son or daughter hand over the parcel and it puts a smile on people's face, which we could all do with at the moment.

Guy Douglas, owner of The Silver Shop of Bath
Two year old William hands over a parcel from his father's shop.

In Nailsworth in Gloucestershire, The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop is offering a similar service.

If you live locally, bookseller Hereward Corbett will personally deliver the books - often with his dog in tow.

Hereward explained: “What I love doing is delivering books to the customers ourselves because it establishes that relationship.

"There's nothing a customer likes more than a cheery bookseller coming up the path with a bag of books.

Bookseller Hereward Corbett delivers books to customers in Nailsworth.

Until the first lockdown happened, The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop didn't even have an online store.

Now its new website, along with social media and TikTok videos, form part of its business model.

The bookshop also makes a point of donating to local charities, as well as using local pubs for their click and collect orders.

Customers in Nailsworth have welcomed the personally delivery service by their local bookshop.

Hereward continued: “What we have to do is adapt and innovate and keep going and keep thinking outside the box and pushing and pushing and pushing.”


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