John Lewis has announced plans to open nine more shops on Thursday June 25, following the successful reopening of an initial 13 shops this week with lockdown ending for non-essential retailers.
The stores which will reopen their doors to customers next week are located at Cribbs Causeway, Leeds, Liverpool, Milton Keynes, Newcastle, Peter Jones, Southampton, Tunbridge Wells and York.
Parent company John Lewis Partnership confirmed that further shop reopenings amongst John Lewis’ 50-strong store estate will be announced in the coming weeks.
“The overwhelmingly positive feedback from both customers and partners on our first 13 department store reopenings this week has given us confidence to open in more locations across the UK,” John Lewis Partnership customer service executive director Bérangère Michel said.
“We are still reopening our shops carefully and in phases to ensure that our safety measures are absolutely right, and remain prepared to stop and review our plans if need be.
“We are already applying lessons learned from our first store openings earlier this week. We’ve learned how crucial our newly created host roles – which help customers adapt to the new social distancing measures and new ways of shopping – are in ensuring customers have an enjoyable experience.
“We found that in some shops we were able to increase the number of customers and still maintain robust social distancing, and made our signage clearer in order to help customers navigate the changes.
“Although we are not able to offer every single experience that we used to, we are still managing to offer customers a really varied shopping experience that is as close to normal and as enjoyable as we can possibly make it.
“Customers will still be able to touch products, lie on beds, try on and test wipeable products such as sunglasses, prams, and tech products, and get the personal advice they expect from our partners.”
Key social distancing measures that have been implemented in John Lewis shops include:
• Customer Service Hosts assigned to welcome customers into the store and answer any questions while managing customer numbers, queues both at entrances and busy areas of the shop
• Reduction in the number of shop entrances and exits
• Caps on the number of customers entering stores
• Prominent social distancing signage
• Protective screens at checkouts and areas of the shop where two metre social distancing cannot be achieved between customers and staff, such as welcome desks
• Control procedures for escalators and lifts limiting the number of users
• Rigorous and frequent cleaning
• Provision of hand sanitiser for customers to use at all entrances and throughout shops
• Social distancing in back of house areas
• New contactless payment limit of £45
• Limiting additional customer services – for example close-contact beauty services will not be offered and customer catering outlets and fitting rooms will remain closed until further notice
• Safe and simple returns process including new drop boxes and quarantining returned stock for 48 hours
Read the full article here – retailgazette.co.uk