Wickes has confirmed it will start to reopen branches over the next couple of weeks. The home improvement retailer has trialled opening six stores across the country and now plans to open more in phases.
Like many retailers, Wickes closed its doors in March in line with the coronavirus lockdown restrictions.
However, the home improvement retailer has been working on new social distancing measures to make it safer for shoppers.
Wickes recently used six stores to try out the safety measures and will now start to roll out opening the rest.
Before this, shoppers had only been able to pick up goods through their digital channels.
This included offering Click & Collect services and home deliveries to customers.
Which stores will reopen?
Branches will open in two phases which will be rolled out in the next couple of weeks.
This Thursday, 106 stores across the UK will open its doors to customers.
On May 18, a further 108 branches will be open which will mean all stores will be open again within a week.
Although Wickes is classed as an essential retailer, it closed all branches in the UK in March.
When reopening, all stores will follow new social distancing measures to protect employees and shoppers.
These include safety markings on the floor, following a one-way system and not accepting cash payments.
When checking out, shoppers will also have designated spaces to place their trolleys so colleagues can scan items at a safe distance.
The retailer will also limit how many people will be allowed in stores at any one time and shoppers are asked to stay two metres apart.
Opening hours in the garden centre have also been adjusted to help keep the store safe.
Although they will vary in some stores, most branches will be open Monday to Saturday from 6am or 7am until 4pm or 5pm.
On a Sunday, opening times have not changed and customers can shop between 10am and 4pm.
Wickes CEO David Wood said: “The safety of our colleagues and customers is always our absolute priority.
“In recent weeks we have taken time to review in great detail how to operate our stores safely in the wake of Covid-19 and we are confident we have put the right measures in place to achieve this.
“We have measured the customers’ experience in the Wickes trial stores, with eight out of 10 describing their experience as ‘excellent’ with regard to feeling ‘safe and secure’.
“This positive customer feedback is only possible thanks to the hard work of our store colleagues.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of them for how they have responded to the challenges posed by the pandemic in shifting focus to successfully serve our customers through Click & Collect and home delivery.
“We look forward to welcoming our customers back through our doors in the weeks ahead.”
Published at Wed, 13 May 2020 08:00:00 +0000