Published On: Thu, May 21st, 2020

Shopping in lockdown: Rules retailers will have to stick by after lockdown revealed


The Government website published that businesses selling essential homeware can now reopen. The announcement comes the hospitality industry submitted a 75 page document outlining a strategy to reopening restaurants and pubs open on July 4.

The report suggested closing hotel buffets and banning customers from the bar.

On Wednesday, a post on Matalan’s website stated their stores were being reopened.

The post read: “Following our decision to close our stores almost eight weeks ago we’ve been working tirelessly on preparing our stores for reopening with enhanced health and safety measures and strict social distancing guidelines to ensure we offer the safest shopping environment for you.

“Given the change in government guidance on 1st May to include Homeware as essential retail in England, we are now pleased to inform you that we are starting to reopen selected stores.”

Other national companies announced similar moves.

Clothing retailer Marks and Spencer, said: “We are working towards reopening more space from June.”

They added: “Our 290 stores that sell both clothing and food are led by a single manager – so it means they already have a brilliant working knowledge of the necessary hygiene measures, how to manage social distancing and the flow of our customers in and out of their store.”

Fashion business Next said: “We have plans in place for the re-purposing of our stores ready to reopen in a socially-distanced world.”

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The move comes as Australia repurposes its shopping experience to fit the current circumstances, following a lockdown that was implemented on March 22.

Make-up retailer Sephora has implemented temperature checks for its customers before they can access the facilities.

Hand sanitiser is available in-store and customers are asked to wait in line as a limited number of people are allowed inside at any one time.

Theresa Fagan, a nurse at a coronavirus clinic in central Sydney, has seen the impact a lack of precautions can have in the fight against the virus and is a supporter of the strict measures implemented.

She said: “It’s non-invasive, the only thing that would be an issue is if you have a fever for another reason but then if that’s the case you probably shouldn’t be out shopping any way, especially not in this climate.”

But implementing preventive measures can also lead to delays and a slower shopping experience.

An Apple spokeswoman told Daily Mail Australia consumers can expect delays in stores due to coronavirus restrictions slowing down operations.

She said: “Our social distance protocols mean a limited number of visitors in each store at one time so there may be a delay for walk-in customers.

“We recommend, where possible, customers buy online for delivery or schedule an in-store pick up. Customers should expect they may have to wait to enter our stores as we closely monitor the number of people inside.

“Customers continue to have several at-home support options including the Apple Support app, or online and telephone support.”



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