Halfords today said it will reopen 53 stores across the UK after it was forced to close down its physical operations due to the coronavirus crisis.
The bicycle and car parts retailer was granted essential retailer status following the lockdown, meaning it was able to keep 335 of its 446 stores open.
However, these operated under a so-called dark model, requiring customers to place orders with staff outside the front of the store.
But Halfords said 53 stores will now be reopened fully with social distancing measures in place, including reduced customer numbers and protective screens.
The reopenings, which come after successful trials in Peterborough and Bristol, will mark the first time customers have been allowed in store since 23 March.
It comes after Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that most non-essential retailers will be able to reopen from 15 June, while outdoor markets and car dealerships can reopen from 1 June.
Shares in Halfords dropped sharply in March during the market turmoil caused by the Covid-19 crisis, but have since recovered on surging demand for bicycles as people have been told to avoid public transport.
“There has been a big surge in demand for our bike products and services as people have taken to cycling during the lockdown, both for commuting and for fun,” said chief executive Graham Stapleton.
“We are also anticipating a similar level of demand for our motoring products and services in the coming days, as people begin to use vehicles again that in some cases will have been off the road for many weeks.”