Sunday 31 May 2020 2:16 pm

Ikea introduces social distancing wardens as it prepares for reopening

Ikea is introducing social distancing wardens as part of a string of safety measures being implemented ahead of reopening on Monday.

The retailer will reopen 19 stores across England and Northern Ireland from tomorrow, with click and collect facilities also opening in a phased approach.

Ikea stores in Scotland, Wales and the Republic of Ireland remain closed, as per government guidance.

Read more: Coronavirus: Ikea opens Swedish food markets for key workers

Ikea closed its stores in the UK and Ireland in March, ahead of lockdown.

A number of safety measures have been put in place to ensure social distancing in stores. A limited number of customers will be granted entry in stores at any one time.

Much like supermarket policies, Ikea has said only one adult per household will be allowed in at one time. Additionally, a staggered entry system and restricted car parking will be put in place.

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Ikea has said social distance wardens will help customers ” find their way round the new one-way system and ensure new social distancing measures are being followed”. Screens at checkouts, service points and customer returns will also be introduced to encourage social distancing.

The food halls at Ikea’s Tottenham and Greenwich sites were opened last month to cater for NHS and emergency services workers, as well as the elderly and vulnerable.

Play areas and restaurants will remain closed, but customers will be able to purchase items, like the Swedish meatballs, to make at home.

Read more: Ikea is closing its first big UK store

Peter Jelkeby, Ikea’s UK and Ireland chief executive, said: “We’re looking forward to warmly welcoming customers and co-workers back into our stores from 1st June. Their health and safety remains our top priority, and that’s why we’ve put in place extensive measures to ensure the safety and comfort of customers and co-workers.”

“While the experience might be a little different to before – it’s the same Ikea, with the vision to “create a better everyday life for the many people”, and the ambition to inspire people through our brilliant affordable range and home furnishing advice.”

The 19 Ikea stores reopening next month:

Greater LondonCroydon
EastNorwich (OCP)
North West and Northern IrelandBelfast
North EastGateshead
South EastMilton Keynes
South WestBristol

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