Power tools shop staff flat out at the next level

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Don't try this at home . . . Stihl Shop Dunedin mechanics David Faigan (left) and Doug Williamson reckon they can give sales manager Shane MacGregor's new beard a trim while maintaining social distancing. PHOTO: DAVE CAMPBELL/STIHL SHOP DUNEDIN

The phones have been ringing off the hook at Dunedin’s Stihl Shop, as people race to get mowers and power tools serviced and repaired.

Owner Dave Campbell is delighted the Anderson’s Bay centre has been so busy since this week’s move to Covid-19 Alert Level 3 eased restrictions on a range of businesses.

“Both phone lines have been flat out, with most people wanting servicing and repairs,” he said.

The demand almost rivalled the two days just before the Level 4 lockdown took effect, which were “the busiest we have ever had”.

The operation of the service centre and garden/landscape equipment retail store has changed significantly to meet Level 3 requirements.

Customers can pre-order equipment online at dunedin@stihlshop.co.nz, or by phone, and can then visit the Stihl Shop to collect it, while maintaining social distance.

People could also drop off machines for repair, or staff could collect them, while taking the correct precautions, he said.

While office staff continued to work from home, he, sales manager Shane MacGregor and mechanics David Faigan and Doug Williamson would be on site to provide servicing and repair of equipment, Mr Campbell said.

“We are keeping the correct social distance in the workshop, and we are taking the extra precaution of wiping equipment down with disinfectant as well.”

While the Stihl Shop was able to operate on a very limited basis during the Alert Level 4 lockdown, selling essential equipment online, it was a relief to get back to work, he said.

“Initially, the time off was enjoyable, but I have been looking forward to getting back to work.”

He had used his copious free time taking daily walks alongside Otago Harbour, with frequent “side-steps” to maintain social distance, and had been painting a fence at home.

“Unfortunately, the job is only half done.

“I ran out of paint and couldn’t get more as it wasn’t an essential product.”