John Lewis is planning a phased reopening of its stores with social distancing measures.
Each store will have a customer service host to monitor customer numbers inside and the number of entrances will be reduced. There will also be protective screens at tills and cafes and fitting rooms are to remain closed.
Non-essential shops including John Lewis will be allowed to open in England from 15 June, after the government published safety advice for workers in shops and similar environments.
John Lewis stores in Poole and Kingston will be the first to open on 15 June and another 11 stores around the country are set to open three days later.
However, many retailers are concerned that customers will be slow in returning, even if the shops are open. There are also concerns that some customers can be a health risk to workers and can become hostile over the new safety rules.
Westfield UK shopping centres are also planning for reopening, saying the scale and layout of the centres makes it easier for them to manage customer footfall safely than on the narrow pavement of a high street. They plan to use digital footfall trackers to manage customers, and use pavement markings to impose one-way systems.
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Cabinet Minister Michael Gove said: “We know already from the way supermarkets and food stores have opened that it is possible to sell goods – and for people to get the goods that they need – and to do so while respecting social distancing. We need to ensure that the shopping habits of people might have grown used to in the pre-Covid days, are habits that we all exercise a degree of restraint on.”