Screens and one-way systems: UK retailers prepare to reopen

Many non-essential shopping chains are preparing to let customers back into stores as the Covid-19 lockdown eases.

Outdoor non-food markets and car showrooms were allowed to reopen from Monday 1 June. From Monday 15 June, a much broader range of retailers will reopen their doors, including clothes shops, toy stores, electronics retailers, booksellers, indoor markets, shoe shops, tailors, auction houses and photography studios.

Retailers reopening are adapting their stores to abide by government Covid-19 social distancing and health and safety guidelines.

Following the example of lockdown procedures already introduced by supermarkets, DIY chains and furniture retailers, these measures include limiting the number of shoppers in store with queuing systems, as well as installing plastic screens at tills and supplying face masks and other PPE to staff.

Other measures include closed changing rooms, one-way systems on the shop floor, restrictions on touching merchandise and quarantining products that customers pick up and then return to shelves. Government guidance also requires goods returned to stores to be quarantined for up to 72 hours before being returned to store shelves. The precise detail of these measures may vary between different retail chains and types of store.

You can read the latest government coronavirus guidance for shops (published 29 May) here, and for food takeaway and delivery outlets (published 29 May) here.

Here is a list of shop and restaurant chains that have confirmed plans to reopen:

Clothing and fashion stores reopening from 15 June

  • Primark (all 153 stores in England)

  • Marks & Spencer (reopening the majority of its clothing stores)

  • Next (25 stores)

  • Debenhams (90 stores)

  • Frasers Group: Sports Direct, Jack Wills, Flannels (number of stores reopening as yet unknown)

  • Harrods department store (Knightsbridge, London)

  • House of Fraser (number of stores reopening as yet unknown. Opening by the end of the week starting 15 June)

  • Ted Baker (all stores from mid-June)

General/other retail reopening from 15 June

  • John Lewis (2 on 15 June in Poole and Kingston upon Thames and a further 11 on 18 June)

  • The Entertainer (all 173 stores)

  • Card Factory (about 100 of its stores)

Takeaway/Food to Go already reopened

  • McDonald’s (201 drive-throughs and 37 for delivery orders already open. A total of 1,019 branches will be open for drive-through or delivery by the end of the first week of June)

  • Burger King (112 are open for delivery or drive through. This is expected to rise to 350 by the end of June)

  • Greggs (after opening a handful of stores in the north-east, a further 800 will reopen by mid-June)

  • KFC (700 open across UK and Ireland for delivery, drive through and takeaway)

  • Subway (600 open UK and Ireland)

  • Nando’s (94 open for delivery and takeaway)

  • Starbucks (150 branches open for takeaway or delivery)

  • Pret a Manger (more than 300 open for takeaway and delivery)

  • Costa Coffee (316 open for takeaway and drive-through)

  • Five Guys (47 open)

  • Pizza Express (13 in London for home delivery only)

Furniture and homewares already reopened

  • Ikea (19 stores open)

  • Sofa retailer ScS (81 stores open)

  • DFS (91 stores open)

  • Furniture Village (all 52 stores open)

  • Dunelm (39 stores open)

DIY/gardening already reopened

  • B&Q (all 288 stores)

  • Homebase (all 164 stores)

  • Wickes (all 22o stores)

  • Dobbies (54 stores)

Other chains already open

  • Matalan (15 open)

  • Poundland (776 – 700 of which remained open throughout lockdown)

  • Halfords (53 open)

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