Welwyn Garden City’s John Lewis opening date confirmed

PUBLISHED: 11:32 27 May 2020 | UPDATED: 11:32 27 May 2020

A john Lewis employee from the Kingston Branch preparing for the store re-opening. Picture: Paul Grover

A john Lewis employee from the Kingston Branch preparing for the store re-opening. Picture: Paul Grover

Paul Grover

WGC’s John Lewis is set to reopen next month after being temoprarily closed since late March.

John Lewis in Welwyn Garden CityJohn Lewis in Welwyn Garden City

The store will be one of the first to reopen, on Thursday June 18.

John Lewis plans initially to open just under a quarter of its shops as part of a gradual approach with rigorous safety and social distancing measures in place.

Branches selected to open have been chosen primarily because of their accessibility by car.

Sharon White, partner and chairman of the John Lewis Partnership, said: “The momentous events of the last few months have tested our resilience as a business, but our resourcefulness, innovation and the spirit of cooperation between partners has really shone through.

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“It’s been heartwarming to see John Lewis Partners stepping into different roles to support our Waitrose supermarkets and to keep johnlewis.com running and I’m proud of everything our partners across both our brands have done to help us get to this point.”

Some of the new measures being introduced are reducing the number of shop entrances, caps on the number of customers entering stores, prominent social distancing signage, protective screens at checkouts and in areas of the shop where two metre social distancing cannot be achieved between customers and partners.

There will also be control procedures for escalators and lifts limiting the number of users, rigorous and frequent cleaning, provision of hand sanitiser for customers to use at all entrances, social distancing in back of house areas and a new contactless payment limit of £45.

In addition, customers will be able to learn more about the measures they are taking in the branches via a short film, which will be posted on johnlewis.com.

Depending on customer feedback and how the first phase of openings progress, other initiatives which may be considered include: virtual queueing, returns drop boxes and enabling Click & Collect from branch carparks.

Prior to opening, each shop will undertake a four-week reopening preparation programme, which includes counting stock, replenishment, preparation of systems, merchandising, deep cleaning, the introduction of social distancing measures, partner training and final pre-opening checks.

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