The team behind an award-winning north-east family business have seen a “surge” in online ordering since the Covid-19 lockdown commenced.
Established by husband and wife duo James and Julie Haig in 2007, Haigs has continued to dish out its delicious produce – including fresh meat, fresh fruit and veg, and pies – to members of the public since lockdown measures were introduced in Scotland.
Despite the implications, the co-owners have continued to operate the business’ mobile shop over the difficult period, distributing goods to around 42 locations across Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire.
With the Covid-19 pandemic changing consumers shopping behaviours – and more transactions taking place online – the pair explained that the ongoing lockdown period has actually seen more people ordering from then online than ever before.
Julie said: “Our mobile shop has been operational for over two years now, and it allows us to sell our pre-packed meat, ready meals and pies to areas all over the north-east.
“However we did have had to adapt the way it operated considerably when the pandemic began, and customers have not been permitted inside since the start of the outbreak.
“The team and I had to take this step purely as a precaution as public health is our number one priority. It always has been and always will be.
“Nevertheless, we’ve seen a surge in people ordering online and collecting their order – socially distanced – when the mobile shop is in their area.”
With that said, the pair were also required to think of the ways in which their main store – based on Schoolhill in Aberdeen – could also continue to operate.
The store opened over eight years ago and the close-knit team have done everything in their power to ensure it survives past the pandemic.
Julie has been eager to spread awareness of this and has utilised the new North-East Now website – which aims to support local businesses by sharing positive and inspirational stories – in order to do this.
Julie added: “We’ve also continued to trade in the shop with social distancing measures in place to protect the staff.
“The team and I have had to implement a one way system, and install screens and two-metre tape throughout the store as a reminder to customers to socially distance.
“And James and I wanted to make more members of the public aware of this through promoting our services via the North-East Now site.”
North-East Now, which launched last week, pulls together a range of information, directories and blogs, making it easy for people to support local firms from a wide range of industries including food, drink, fashion, beauty, lifestyle and more.
It also explains which local products are available in shops and supermarkets, like Haigs, allowing people to choose north-east brands in their weekly shop.
“Our shops have proved real assets to people during this difficult time,” Julie added.
“Everyone has been so supportive of our business and very appreciative that we have continued to battle on throughout everything.
“People know how hard it has been juggling home life, home schooling and our business, so they have been like extended family to us. Here’s to seeing even more kind faces once we see the back of lockdown.”
Haigs is one of many local businesses being forced to adapt their services in order to survive the Covid-19 pandemic, which are highlighted on the new North-East Now website.
To read more about the North-East Now initiative, visit northeastnow.scot
For more information on Haigs, visit www.haigsdirect.co.uk