9 changes to expect at Primark when it reopens in two weeks including one in one out and fewer tills

PRIMARK plans to reopen 153 stores in England on June 15, but it won't be business as usual for shoppers.

Instead, shoppers can expect a number of changes including a one in one out policy and fewer tills.

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The clothing store shut all of its 189 UK stores on March 22 after the government ordered all non-essential shops to close.

But now they have been given the go-ahead to reopen in mid-June, as long as they're COVID-19 "secure".

Unlike many other fashion retailers, Primark doesn't offer online shopping so it has been unable to trade at all during lockdown.

As a result, it has suffered a loss of around £650million worth of sales a month.


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But its owner ABF has now reopened more than 100 Primark stores across Europe including 32 in Germany.

It said it had learned lessons from the openings that would be carried forward to its UK stores.

Here's what Primark customers can expect once they shop at the retailer again.

1. Every other till closed

When Primark reopens for business, it'll keep every other till shut in its stores.

This is in order to maintain social distancing between customers and staff alike.

So if you experience longer queues to pay when you next visit Primark, this is likely to be because of the fewer tills.

2. Perspex screens

Similar to other supermarkets and retailers, Primark will also install perspex screens at its tills.

They prevent shoppers and workers from sneezing and coughing directly at each other.

The screens were introduced in the major supermarkets at the start of the coronavirus outbreak, and have become standard in retailers.

3. Restrictions on customer numbers – one in one out

As we've already seen in supermarkets, Primark will also have limits on customer numbers in stores.

Naturally, the number of customers in a shop will depend on its size.

Primark is yet to set a maximum because the government has not yet set out its thinking on how many square metres there should be around each person.

It could be anywhere between 10 and 20 square metres according to guidance issued in other countries.

If the shops have reached maximum capacity, Primark will operate a one in and one out policy.

4. Marshals on doors

To control the number of customers in a store at any one time, Primark will have marshals outside its entrances.

They will tell you when you can enter, and make sure shoppers queueing up are behaving orderly.

If necessary, you can expect them to remind you to keep your distance from fellow shoppers.

5. Frequent cleaning of high touch points, such as baskets

Primark will also improve cleaning processes of high frequency touch points.

This could include door handles and baskets, for example.

It comes as the World Health Organisation suggests coronavirus may survive on surfaces for up to three days.

6. Hand sanitizer stations

Primark customers will be able to clean their hands by using hand sanitizer stations in stores.

It comes following government guidance that shops need to introduce more handwashing facilities for workers and customers.

Alternatively, they should provide hand sanitiser stations where this isn't possible.

7. No special discounts or fire sale

Bargain hunters will be disappointed as Primark won't be slashing prices to shift excess stock once they reopen.

During lockdown the clothing chain has built up almost £2billion-worth of unsold stock, double its normal holding.

But the stock will instead be sold in the normal course of business at a later date.

ABF finance boss John Bason said this week: “We are not doing a fire sale.

"Customers can look forward to our normal prices offering everyday value.”

The excess stock mainly comprises non-fashion and non-seasonal ranges plus some excess spring-summer goods.

Some of the latter will be held back until spring 2021 while the rest will be sold "in the normal course of business".

8. No one-way aisles

Unlike in some supermarket chains, shoppers will not be directed along one-way aisles.

Instead they will have the freedom to roam the store.

Primark will be able to do this safely by restricting the number of people allowed in store at any one time.

Mr Bason added: “Customers will have the freedom of store and be able to go where ever they want.

"We want them to feel comfortable.”

9. PPE for staff

Last but not least, Primark staff will be given personal protection to wear at work.

This includes masks and gloves.

In mid-May, Primark were "preparing to reopen as senior staff started going back to work".

While in April, Primark furloughed 68,000 staff as it went from £650million sales a month to £0.

We've rounded up general rules shoppers will have to follow when stores reopen on June 15, including one-way systems and no changing rooms.

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