John Lewis to Kick off Phased Reopening With 13 Stores Next Month

By Shabana Arif on at

John Lewis is tentatively opening its doors next month along with other non-essential shops that have been given the greenlight to reopen with the appropriate social distancing measures in place.

The retailer announced that it plans to open two of its locations - in Kingston and Poole - on June 15, in line with step two of the government's lockdown exit strategy. 11 more stores will reopen on June 18, with additional branches to follow suit over the summer. The list of locations that are going to be the first to reopen have been picked  "primarily because of their accessibility by car" and include:

  • Bluewater
  • Cambridge
  • Cheadle
  • Cheltenham
  • High Wycombe
  • Horsham
  • Ipswich
  • Norwich
  • Nottingham
  • Solihull
  • Welwyn

John Lewis will be adopting social distancing measures that have already been implemented in Waitrose. The number of customers in the store at any one time will be capped, and to keep an eye on everyone coming in and out, the number of entrances open for use will be limited. Fitting rooms and cafes will be closed, and certain services - like beauty counters where customers would gather and manhandle products - will remain unavailable until further notice. As with the Waitrose's 'marshals' staff will be on hand to make sure everyone's behaving and to answer any questions. A John Lewis spokesperson added:

"Depending on the response from customers and partners to our new ways of operating with respect to social distancing, more shops will open throughout the summer."

There seems to be some concern over whether shoppers will return to their natural habitat, but the recklessness on display across the country on a sunny day down at the park suggests that the public isn't going to be too shy about. [Sky News]