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Coronavirus: NI garden centre owner's relief at reopening after 'long eight weeks'

But any chance of making a profit slim

A Northern Ireland garden centre owner has said he will be lucky if the business breaks even this year.

Garden centres across Northern Ireland opened on Monday as part of the first easing of the coronavirus lockdown.

There were reports of a steady stream of people attending centres right across the region.

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 Richard Fry

Richard Fry

Richard Fry

At Colmans in Templepatrick customers were limited to two per household, had to social distance and walk one way around the building. There was also staff on duty to wipe down trolleys and ensure people used hand sanitiser as they entered the business.

"To be honest I think 2020 we have to write off," managing director Richard Fry told the Belfast Telegraph.

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"There will be no profitably ... if we break even we will be doing well.

"It has been a long eight weeks and maybe we can claw something back."

Customers said it was a relief to get out of the house and bring "some normality" back to life.

"It is just good to get out rather than being stuck in the house watching TV doing chores," said Keith Smith.

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