Boris Johnson has confirmed that all shops will be allowed to reopen on Monday 15th June as part of the Government’s three-stage plan to ease lockdown measures.
The Prime Minister stated “This has been the most challenging period for high streets and shops in our history,” Mr Johnson said. “Never before have all shops been ordered to shut in this way.” He added that it is “vital” that retail establishments “ensure they are meeting Covid-secure guidelines” – including implementing relevant hygiene and social distancing measures – in order to protect customers and staff.
What we know so far:
Owner Sainsbury’s is beginning a phased reopening of some Argos standalone stores from 15th June. The retailer said it would be prioritising those stores in locations where customers could not easily access as Sainsbury’s supermarket.
All Argos stores will continue to operate as click and collect only sites, with the aim to reintroduce in-store shopping “in the coming weeks”.
Argos staff “will be following social distancing guidelines at all times, including when they collect items from the warehouse and bring them to the collection counter”, which the retailer warned could lead to delays.
This electrical retailer has already opened 19 of its stores since 22nd May on a drive-through collection-only basis. Customers are asked to place their order online before driving and parking at one of the open outlets. Once they have confirmed through email their arrival, a staff member will then load the boot of the car with the purchased product.
This week, Debenhams reopened 3 stores with street access in Northern Ireland, including their Belfast flagship store. Debenhams will open 50 of its stores on 15th June with the rest opening over the following week.
The struggling department store chain tumbled into administration for the second time in a year due to coronavirus and has confirmed that 17 of its stores will remain closed. Its remaining five stores are currently at risk.
Managing director Steven Cook said: “We are delighted to be welcoming customers back to our stores in the coming weeks. Our reopening plans follow the successful conclusion of lease negotiations on 120 stores, meaning that the vast majority of our stores will be reopening.”
Dixons plans to reopen its stores in phases, with 153 Currys PC World stores set to open on June 15. Some 42 stores will open fully, with a further 89 stores across England and Northern Ireland offering front of store trading. Twelve additional stores will open across Wales and Scotland, offering order and collect services.
Dixons will also offer a “zero-contact” drive-through model, where purchases can be delivered to a customer’s car without them having to leave the vehicle, and is implementing its ShopLive functionality, connecting shoppers at home to colleagues in-store via video chat.
All Fenwicks stores are reopening on Monday 15th June, but Bond Street will only have its ground floor open for browsing. In addition to expected measures, all restaurants, cafes and beauty services will be closed.
This includes Sports Direct, Jack Wills, Game and House of Fraser, indicated it is planning to reopen on 15th June and prepared to reopen as many as 800 UK stores on 1st June.
Halfords has opened a further 100 stores after opening an initial 53 shops last week. A further 335 of Halfords 446-strong store estate had previously been operating as ‘dark stores’, which allow shoppers to place orders with colleagues at the store entrance but prohibit them from entering stores themselves.
Hammerson’s flagship shopping destinations will fully reopen on 15th June.
Seven of the landlords’ eight retail parks have remained open throughout lockdown for essential retailers, but all will fully reopen in accordance with government guidelines from mid-June.
Hammerson said it will introduce a range of measures in its shopping centres to keep customers safe. Measures include one-way systems, communication through social media channels, digital signage and tannoys, and footfall monitoring to ensure there are not too many people in the centre at any one time.
Heal’s has started to reopen its stores including its flagship Tottenham Court Road store. it has reserved the first hour of trading for private appointments, and will also continue its video consultations.
Customers wishing to try sitting on or using furniture will be offered disposable plastic sheets.
Ikea began reopening its UK stores with a phased approach from 1st June. The furniture retailer has introduced new measures including one way systems and social distancing wardens to help guide customers around the store.
Its cafes will be open for takeaway food only.
On 22nd May, institutional landlord Intu outlined elevated social distancing and hygiene procedures for non-essential store occupiers across its 14 UK shopping centres.
Plans include placing limits on the number of people and cars allowed into centres at any one time by closing parking bays; introducing one-way systems around centres as well as floor stickers and increased staff training to enforce social distancing; both in common areas and in stores.
Centres will also have enhanced hygiene regimes with more deep cleaning of “key areas” and “touchpoints” such as escalators, toilets and keypads. Hand sanitiser stations will be placed at all entrances and other locations throughout the centres.
John Lewis will open two of its stores on 15th June – Poole and Kingston-upon-Thames – before opening a further 11 on 18th June. These stores are at Bluewater, Cambridge, Cheadle, Cheltenham, High Wycombe, Horsham, Ipswich, Norwich, Nottingham, Solihull and Welwyn.
The department store chain said it would be implementing a “raft of measures” it had used at partnership Waitrose stores, including introducing a ‘customer service host’ to manage the number of customers in-store, reducing the number of entrances, installing protective checkout screens, and limiting the number of users on escalators and in lifts.
The retailer said only opening a quarter of its stores initially was part of a “steady, gradual approach with rigorous safety and social distancing measures” in place, and highlighted that the stores it had chosen to open were primarily picked “because of their accessibility by car”.
Next has already opened some of its stores. By Monday 15th June, Next will have around 130 stores open and trading. It is following government guidelines by following social distancing, increasing hygiene measures and closing fitting rooms.
Marks & Spencer
The retail chain’s food halls have been open throughout the pandemic, but it has now unveiled plans for reopening its other departments. M&S will reopen the majority of store space dedicated to selling clothing on 15th June.
The retailers fitting rooms and cafes will remain closed, although some locations will offer coffee to go with contactless selection. Close contact services such as bra-fittings will also be temporarily suspended, employees will be positioned at store entrances to ensure social distancing is maintained and hand sanitisers will be offered to all customers as they enter stores.
The retailer says because 260 stores of its stores sell both food and clothing and are led by a single manager, its store staff “already have brilliant working knowledge of the necessary hygiene measures to keep everyone well and how to manage social distancing and the flow of customers in and out of their store”.
Robert Dyas will begin a phased return to the high street from Monday 15th June, with 11 stores in the South-East reopening their doors. Chairman, Theo Paphitis stated that rigorous safety measures would be put in place. These include restrictions on the number of customers in store, customer service hosts, direction signage to support a one-way system, contactless payment, quarantining returned goods for up to 72 hours, sanitising stations. Further stores will reopen from Wednesday 1st July, when Click & Collect will also be reactivated, following the successful and safe rollout of the first phase.
Selfridges reopened its food hall at the beginning of May. The luxury department store plans to open the rest of its flagship London store on 15th June, as well as its shops in Manchester and Birmingham.
The Works will open all 465 of its stores across England, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland during the week beginning June 15th, with shops in Scotland and Wales to follow ”as soon as possible thereafter”.
The retailer has implemented social distancing measures, has put perspex screens in place at the checkouts and installed cleaning stations across its stores to encourage customers to sanitise their hands as they shop.
Here’s the full list of retailers that will be allowed to open from 15th June:
– Food retailers
– Hardware/homeware stores
– Fashion shops
– Charity shops
– Betting shops and arcades
– Tailors, dress fitters and fashion designers
– Car dealerships
– Auction houses
– Antique stores
– Retail art galleries
– Photography studios
– Gift shops and retail spaces in theatres, museums, libraries, heritage sites and tourism sites
– Mobile phone stores
– Indoor and outdoor markets
– Craft fairs
– Similar types of retail