Finally, after three months of longing to scratch our shopping itch, non-essential stores will be allowed to reopen in the UK from Monday 15th June.
While we’ve been able to continue to shop online during lockdown, there’s nothing quite like a real life browse in our favourite high street stores.
But, shopping post-lockdown is likely to look quite different thanks to the introduction of new rules to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.
New guidelines will limit the number of people allowed in stores per household, while shoppers will have to pay using a cashless method where possible.
Fitting rooms will be closed and one-way systems and barriers put in place, in measures that will replicate how supermarkets have operated throughout the crisis.
“Customers will be encouraged to use hand sanitiser and advised not to pick up items as they browse. Clothing stores have been told to shut fitting rooms where possible, other than for the purpose of enabling staff to change into protective clothing,” Prime Minister Boris Johnson said.
In order to keep things hygienic once inside, shoppers will be asked to sanitise their hands upon entry, and customers will be discouraged from touching items unless they intend to buy them.
To avoid confusion, the new measures will be clearly set out with posters and signs on windows and doors before you get inside.
There will be changes to shopping partners too, with only one person per household allowed in at a time, unless you’re a parent with a young child that is.
So as we count down the days until stores throw open there doors, here’s a sneak peek about what we can expect shopping 2.0 to look like on Monday...
Primark will be reopening it’s 153 stores in England on 15 June. The measures they are putting in place to help provide a safe environment for customers include social distancing protocols, hand sanitiser, perspex screens at tills and additional store cleaning.
In order to follow social distancing protocol the company also plan on limiting the number of customers allowed in store at any one time, introducing floor decals, closing every second till to allow more space between customers.
They will also have hand sanitiser stations at the entrance and on shop floor, perspex screens on tills and increased in-store cleaning.
“As we re-open our stores in England, nothing matters more than the health and wellbeing of our colleagues and customers,” says Primark CEO, Paul Marchant.
“We know that life for our customers is going to look different for a while. We want our stores to be safe and reassuring places to shop and work. While it might take a little longer to get into our stores, once inside, customers will find all their favourite Primark products and we have worked hard to make sure that clear signage and extra help will be there to guide them through the changes we have made to allow for social distancing.
“We will adopt all government safety advice as a minimum in our stores and have benefited from our experience in the other markets in Europe where we have already opened successfully. As we open, we will continue to look at best practice across the retail sector and amend our measures appropriately.”
Store opening times can be found online: https://stores.primark.com/search
Arcadia brands (Topshop, Topman, Dorothy Perkins, Evans, Miss Selfridge, Wallis and Outfit)
From Monday customers to the above re-opened stores can expect a wealth of safety measures to welcome back shoppers.
From new, more spacious store layouts to the allocation of a ‘social distancing champion’ managing customers coming in and out and offering advice and guidance on what to do in store, and what services are available.
Perspex screens have also been installed at each till, alongside 2m floor markings.
Though changing rooms will not be in operation until social distancing measures are lifted, you can try shoes on in store.
Although they are unable to provide specifics on the number of customers permitted in store at any one time, as this will vary store by store depending on its layout, square footage, and number of staff working that day, there will be a limit on the number.
But before you leave home for a browse round Topshop and co it’s worth noting that they are only accepting card and contactless payments, no cash, so don’t forget your debit/credit card.
H&M Group plans to reopen the majority of our stores in England from the 15th June so you can get your summer shopping fix from Monday.
Examples of some of the measures the company have implemented include increased hygiene and cleaning routines, separate entrances and exits, limits on customer numbers entering stores.
Like other stores you won’t be able to try on your must-wants as fitting rooms will be closed and there will also be a limit on the number of tills accepting cash.
Meanwhile plexi screens for till points and suspended click and collect services have also been introduced.
“We are very much looking forward to welcoming customers back to our stores, and would like to thank everybody for their continued patience as we have navigated this situation together,” says Toni Galli, Country Manager for H&M UK & IE.
“I would also like to take this opportunity to thank all of our incredible H&M colleagues working in roles within our logistics and customer services departments that have continued to support our online business whilst our stores remained closed.”
From Monday Lush is reopening 88 of its shops in England, following an almost three month closure.
The company has been busy adapting to new guidelines and has introduced a number of virus control measures including observing advised social distancing rules, having no hands on demonstrations and introducing a safe queuing system to enter stores.
Other introductions will see no product testers on display, invitations for customers to wash their hands on arrival with their own piece of soap peel and the introduction of pre-filled sample pots of some of Lush’s most popular products, complete with a tamper proof seal.
As well as perspex screens and other social distancing measures a number of stores will also set up kiosk purchasing at the front door to avoid the need for customers to enter the shop at all.
John Lewis will begin to reopen its shops for customers as part of a gradual approach from Monday 15 June, starting with its Poole and Kingston department stores, followed by 11 others on Thursday 18 June.
From Monday, John Lewis's home design and personal styling services will be closed.
Fitting rooms, its bureau de change and all food and drink halls will also be cordoned off from the public.
Additionally close-contact beauty services will not be offered and fitting rooms will remain closed until further notice.
To help customers get the hang of what shopping in John Lewis will look like, the company have released a video with an explanation of the new measures introduced.
“At escalators, you'll have to stand eight steps apart on escalators and click and collect can be picked up from the car park!,” the video to shoppers explains.
John Lewis said it will also reduce the number of entrances to stores and will put caps on the number of people allowed in at one time as part of new safety measures.
They also plan on having a “Customer Service Host” to answer any questions and manage customer numbers.
As well has hand sanitiser stations and perspex screens, the company have introduced a new contactless payment limit of £45.
There are also changes to their returns process, which means they plan on separating returned stock from new or old stock for 72 hours.
Marks & Spencer
From 15 June, M&S stores in England and Northern Ireland will be open, with extra measures in place to help keep customers safe.
Some services, such as bra fitting remain paused, but M&S promise staff will be on hand to give advice, and have plenty of online tools to help when it comes to getting the right fit.
For any returns, for which customers have 90 days, the items will be quarantined until it’s safe to put them back on the shop floor.
Cleanliness is the top priority with staff encouraged to wash their hands every 30 minutes and sanitise after serving each customer.
Hand sanitiser will also be available as you enter the store for customers to use if they don’t have any with them.
The tills are spaced out with plenty of room for customers to queue up while staying two metres apart and perspex screens have been installed. Meanwhile the higher contactless limit of £45 has also been introduced.
Like John Lewis, Marks & Spencer have produced a video to help customers know what to expect.
Like all stores, Debenhams plans to limit the number of customers in store at any one time. There'll also be clear signage, with staff on hand to help everyone maintain a safe distance.
Stores will also be cleaned frequently and hand sanitiser will be provided for both customers and staff.
Perspex screens have also been fitted at all checkouts, with shoppers asked to use contactless payment if possible with a newly increased limit of £45 (but cash and gift cards will still be accepted).
In line with government guidelines additional services such as dressing rooms, restaurants and cafés, toilets, beauty services, bra fitting and personal shopping services will remain closed. As will click and collect and in store ordering.
However, for accessibility you will still be able to use the lifts, with guidance on social distancing and washroom facilities will be available for disabled customers on request.