O2 will reopen its stores across England this month, with new layouts and a virtual queuing system as part of its safety measures during the pandemic.
At the so-called future stores, which will open from 15 June, customers will skip queues and instead join a virtual system. They will receive a text when an advisor is ready to help them in a personal one to one appointment.
The firm said NHS and care workers will be given VIP access to skip the queue, mirroring the systems put in place for supermarkets.
O2 shut its retail stores ahead of lockdown was imposed in March and said it would reopen stores across Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales pending further guidance.
The government has set out workplace guidance for non-essential stores to reopen on 15 June. O2 has said it will ensure social distancing in its stores with two metre markings, and a limit on the number of customers in stores at any given time.
As the coronavirus crisis accelerates the adoption of contactless payments, O2 has increased its payment limit to £45 with email receipts.
Measures have also been taken to ensure staff safety and O2 has installed screens at all open service areas. Employees will also be equipped with PPE, including gloves and face coverings.
Gareth Turpin, director of sales, service and retention said: “Retail has changed in the wake of COVID-19, and we need to make sure we adapt to that change.”
“We have regrouped and worked out how our stores and our tech can be used to help customers and staff. The result is a more personal service which also saves customer waiting time. We look forward to welcoming everyone back to our stores to see the changes for themselves.”