John Lewis has revealed further details of its plans to phase the reopening of its department stores, saying 13 shops will be open by 18 June.
The high street retailer announced today that its department stores in Poole and Kingston will reopen on 15 June, which is the first day non-essential retailers are allowed to reopen under the government’s lockdown easing plan.
A further 11 branches will open from 18 June with new social distancing and hygiene measures in place. The stores have been chosen because of their accessibility by car.
John Lewis said more of its 50 stores will open throughout the summer, depending on the response from customers and employees on the social distancing measures.
John Lewis chairman Sharon White said: “Our shops reopening is a sign of hope as we begin to find our new normal. There’s an opportunity, now, for us, to come back stronger as a business, and offer the safety and reassurance that customers will want.
“However, while we have experience of social distancing in our Waitrose shops, we will need to establish new ways of working in our department stores.
“We are taking this cautious approach to be able to learn as we go and to make sure that our shops are as safe as they can possibly be for our customers and partners.”
New social distancing measures include reducing the number of customers in store and installing protective screens and signage.
It will also keep fitting rooms, beauty services and catering outlets closed.
John Lewis customers will be able to use hand sanitiser before entering the store, and the number of shop entrances will be reduced.
A customer service host will welcome shoppers and answer questions on social distancing, while managing queues and customer numbers.
John Lewis is also considering initiatives such as virtual queuing, returns drop boxes and click and collect from branch car parks.
Which John Lewis stores will reopen first?