Ikea is to reopen 19 of its larger stores in England and Northern Ireland on June 1, after putting social distancing measures and click and collect services in place.
The homewares retailer closed its shops voluntarily in March. As a homewares shop it may well have been able to justify staying open as an essential retailer, but it will now only open on June 1 after putting measures in place that it says will allow larger stores to open safely. That date is also when non-essential retailers are expected to be able to start reopening in England and Northern Ireland, subject to infect rates being under control.
Ikea’s Welsh, Scottish and Irish stores will remain closed until government guidance in those countries changes.
Smaller Ikea Planning Studios and Order & Collection points will remain closed during the first phase of reopening. Ikea’s Coventry shop, previously been earmarked for closure this summer, will not now reopen. But contact-free click and collect points in England, Wales and Northern Ireland will reopen in a phased approach.
Ikea says its reopening will be informed by its experiences in other markets around the world and by government guidelines.
Social distancing measures will include limit on how many shoppers can be in store at any time, and a staggered entry system to enable social distancing, and wardens to ensure that distancing requirements are met. Shoppers are being advised to come with ready-made lists and their own bags and will be admitted with a one-adult, one-child per household limit.
Screens will be in place at checkouts, service points and returns desks, while hand sanitiser will be easily available and bags, trolleys, bathrooms, touchscreens and other equipment will be regularly cleaned.
Payment will be by card or contactless while planning services will only be available online. Play areas will be closed, but the Swedish Food market will be open and the bistro will offer contact-free takeaways with extra safety measures in place.
Peter Jelkeby, Ikea UK and Ireland country CEO and CSO, said: “We’re looking forward to warmly welcoming customers and co-workers back into our stores from June 1st.
“Their health and safety remains our top priority, and that’s why we’ve put in place extensive measures to ensure the safety and comfort of customers and co-workers. While the experience might be a little different to before – it’s the same Ikea, with the vision to ‘create a better everyday life for the many’ and the ambition to inspire people through our brilliant affordable range and home furnishing advice.
“Throughout lockdown, we’ve had the unique privilege of being a part of people’s everyday lives at home, and we’re committed to continuing doing whatever we can to support our customers and co-workers on this next part of the journey we take together.”
Ikea, a Top100 retailer in RXUK Top500 research, continues to sell online.
Image courtesy of Ikea