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John Lewis, Debenhams and bookmakers gear up to reopen next week

by Genesis Travers (2020-06-13)

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High Streets around Britain will begin to open more extensively next Monday following Boris Johson's decision to ease lockdown restrictions.

Among the businesses, classed as non-essential shops, lifting their shutters on June 15 are John Lewis, Debenhams and bookmakers - just one day before Ascot begins. 

Retailers are expected to slash prices in order to clear their stock which has been mothballed since the coronavirus lockdown began more than 10 weeks ago.   

The move will provide a welcome boost for businesses forced to close in March at a huge financial cost to themselves and to the Treasury, which has spent hundreds of billions of pounds keeping them afloat and their staff paid.

Shoppers will need to adjust to a raft of social distancing measures as part of the post-corona retail experience. Spot checks will be carried out on stores and local authorities will work with the Government to ensure complaints from the public are followed up on.

Safety measures include storing returned items for 72 hours before putting them back on the shop floor, placing protective coverings on large items touched by the public such as beds or sofas and frequent cleaning of objects and surfaces that are touched regularly.

And shoppers will also need to be aware that June 15 marks the first day face masks become complsory on public transport - with an £80 fine for those who do not comply. 








John Lewis has announced plans to reopen 13 department stores in mid-June with strict safety and social distancing measures in place to protect shoppers and staff


Which retailers are opening in June? 

JOHN LEWIS 

John Lewis has announced plans to reopen 13 department stores in June with strict safety and social distancing measures in place to protect shoppers and staff.

Two stores will open on June 15 followed by a further 11 stores on Thursday, June 18.

Poole and Kingston will be the first to open on June 15, as part of the retailer's phased reopening plans.

The 11 further stores to reopen three days later will be Bluewater, Cambridge, Cheadle, Cheltenham, High Wycombe, Horsham, Ipswich, Norwich, Nottingham, Solihull and Welwyn.

But shoppers will be faced with a different shopping experience to before the lockdown, with John Lewis introducing a raft of health and safety measures.

Fitting rooms and jewelryaccesories.com in-store cafes will be shut to customers until further notice, while it will also reduce the availability of customer services, such as beauty services.

It will also reduce the number of entrances and cap the number of shoppers in stores as part of the measures.

There will also be 'customer service hosts' assigned to welcome customers, answer questions and manage queues in busy areas of shops.

Protective screens will also be installed at checkouts, at welcome desks and tech support areas to protect staff and customers.

There will also be hand sanitiser available at all entrances, social distancing in the back of house and a new contactless payment limit of £45.

John Lewis said it plans to reopen more stores 'throughout the summer' depending on how customers and staff respond to the first openings. 



 



DEBENHAMS

Just 50 Debenhams stores will reopen in England on June 15 as coronavirus restrictions are eased.

The struggling department store chain went into the lockdown with 142 stores but not all of them will reopen immediately - and some will not reopen at all. 








Just 50 Debenhams stores will reopen in England on June 15 as coronavirus restrictions are eased


The company has reopened three stores in Northern Ireland today and will open its other two sites in the province shortly after.

Debenhams said preparations for the reopenings are 'well under way', with strict social distancing and hygiene procedures being implemented across all stores. 

Meanwhile, its stores in Scotland and Wales will reopen once government restrictions are eased, it said.

Steven Cook, Debenhams' managing director, said: 'We have been working hard to ensure our colleagues and customers can work and shop with confidence.'



 



BOOTS' BEAUTY COUNTERS

While the pharmacy chain has remained open during the lockdown - providing much-need medication - its 'non-essential' beauty counters will finally reopen on June 15. 

Boots launched a new GP and online pharmacy consultation service last month.






While the pharmacy chain has remained open during the lockdown - providing much-need medication - its 'non-essential' beauty counters will finally reopen on June 15


It will roll out its digital platform to the company's latest No. 7 product and will offer shoppers in-store and online video consultations with No. 7 advisers, which last 15-20 minutes and focus on skincare and cosmetic advice.

Social distancing wardens will patrol stores at all times and there will be a queuing system to limit the number of shoppers in-store at once and increase its use of floor markings and PPE for staff.



 



LADBROKES CORAL 

Ladbrokes intends to open all its betting shops in England on June 15, with those in Wales to follow shortly after, a spokesman told MailOnline. 

The re-opening of betting shops offers a vital source of re-started income for the sport.

But with the uncertainty of reopening costs and how the High Street will be able to operate, betting industry insiders are predicting only a third of the industry shops may initially open. 






Ladbrokes intends to open all its betting shops in England on June 15, with those in Wales to follow shortly after


The date is crucial for bookmakers - as it comes one day before the scheduled start of the Royal Ascot meeting. 

Meanwhile, an announcement is expected this week over the Premier League, which could restart on June 26. 






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'With racing returning soon, we welcome the fact that betting shops across the country will be able to open their doors again on 15 June,' a Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) spokesperson told iGamingBusiness. 

'Our members are working hard to prepare shops for reopening and to ensure a safe environment for customers with social distancing and hygiene measures in place. 

BETFRED

Betfred announced it would be opening a number of branches in England next week. 

'We will be opening a number of branches in England on the 15th June and the health and safety of our staff and customers is priority,' a spokesman told MailOnine. 






Betfred has announced that it would be opening a number of branches in England next week


William Hill meanwhile plans to start reopening its high street betting shops in the second half of this year.

The gambling firm revealed it would start a 'staged opening' in the second six months of the year, which begins in July. 



 



GREGGS 

A handful of branches opened on May 26 and were watched closely by bosses, who want to test how the new safety measures can be rolled out to other shops. 

Greggs has announced it is hoping to open around 800 of its stores in the middle of June.






Greggs has announced it is hoping to open around 800 of its stores in the middle of June




 

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