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Newmarket dress shop Martha V launches new website in coronavirus lockdown

A Newmarket dress shop owner has used the current lockdown to launch a website.

Lara Kinnett had owned Martha V in the High Street for just three months when the coronavirus pandemic struck.

“In the first few weeks of closing all staff were furloughed through the government scheme and Martha V as a business topped up their wages, so they are being paid in full,” said Lara. “We then had to think creatively and quickly, to find a way to continue to service our loyal customers and help us through the loss of earnings we are experiencing,” said Lara.

Martha V, Newmarket (34323282)
Martha V, Newmarket (34323282)

“I decided to create a new website to sell our goods online. It took nearly three weeks to design and create but obviously I had a few hours spare. I already used a building website package with my other business, Lara B Couture in Newmarket, and I knew the package would be quick to build and give all the essential tools to make it work at the basic level I aimed for. “

Helped by husband Paul, a digital expert, and 12-year-old daughter, Evie, who took pictures of the store’s stock for the site, the website was launched on April 14.

“That first day, we received nine orders,” said Lara. “I was really busy picking the orders, parcelling up, calling customers for payments and delivering, as we offered free delivery to addresses within eight miles of the shop. I got home at 7.30pm that day. Lots of chatting over fences, standing back from doors and chatting and getting lost while finding addresses.

“Since that first day we get about eight -10 orders every processing day, which is quite extraordinary for the first two weeks of it going live. The staff are all so grateful for the customers’ loyalty and support through these challenging times,” said Lara.

The family has also used the lockdown to redecorate the shop with the window dressed with fashion in rainbow colours as a tribute to NHS and key workers.

“I feel Martha V has been a Kinnett family affair since lock down,” said Lara. “As a family we have put our efforts into making the best of it and keeping Martha V firmly on the map of Newmarket’s High Street. We hope we can open our doors again soon.”

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