A FURNITURE shop has managed to stay open during lockdown by allowing customers to window shop and order online.

Oswaldtwistle Furniture Emporium has been operating for more than 20 years and was hit hard by the first national lockdown, but has managed to keep trading.

Owner John Bradley said: “The only thing we can’t do is have people in the shop browsing so they’re doing it by using social media, the website and the windows.

“It’s not ideal but it is what it is and we are making it work.”

John and his business partner Nathan Sledden, 28, contacted environmental health at Hyndburn Council to see if there was any way they would be able to continue trading during the national lockdown and were told that the only thing that wasn’t allowed was shoppers browsing in the store.

The national lockdown which was implemented on November 5 closed all non-essential shops in England but by selling at the door and not allowing customers to browse, the furniture store can continue to trade in an untraditional way.

John added: “The original lockdown was quite daunting but when we opened after the first lockdown trade was good so we are in good shape to operate in a short lockdown.

“We have the shop dressed in a bit of an unorthodox manner, we don’t normally have so much crammed in the windows but we have because that’s what people can see and they are easy things for people to purchase and exchange.”

The reception to the shop staying open has been warmly welcomed by the public with people buying Christmas gifts and small items at the doors during lockdown.

Other customers have been ordering larger items online including tables and chairs which John and Nathan have been able to continue delivering to the customers’ homes.

A spokesperson for Hyndburn Council said: “Trading via a click and collect type system is allowed in line with Government guidelines and the environmental health team can offer advice on this.

“We hope people will continue to support local businesses during this difficult time and this is one way they can continue to spend their money with local traders, while staying safe.”