Wandsworth firms affected by coronavirus crisis – but some in a good way

By Sian Bayley, Local Democracy Reporter

Firms in Balham are already being affected by the coronavirus crisis – but some for the better.

We’ve all seen the images circulating on social media of people stocking up on toilet roll and hand sanitiser, but how are local businesses faring as fears about the disease grow in the capital?

We headed down to Balham to hear from some shop owners.

Nathalia Coelho works at Season Cookshop in Balham High Road and says she has noticed a few changes in people’s buying habits.

“We are selling lots of travel cutlery and water bottles. People want to take things in from home,” she says.

“Today I’ve sold two travel sets of cutlery to parents for the kids to take to school.”

Further up the road by Balham Tube station, Abdul Basit, owner of Lug-it baggage shop, admits the business has been struggling recently.

“I think business has been affected. We sell bags, suitcases and travel products and no-one is really travelling at the moment,” he said.

“It has been getting worse gradually. Sales of cases have really gone down a lot, only people who have pre-booked a flight have come in the last month or so.”

Cindy Park works at the baby store JoJo Maman Bébé in Bedford Hill.

She said she had not noticed any changes in footfall, but said she had heard some people say they don’t want to leave the house unless they really have to.

Others have mentioned stocking up on dry goods, but she says she hasn’t seen that in Balham yet.

She said she felt reassured the store had lots of hand sanitizer in stock to help keep people safe.

Pictured top: Nathalia Coelho at Season Cookshop in Balham High Road

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