OUR favourite stores have been shut for over two months, but that is all about to change.
From testing out gadgets and makeup to trying on clothes and returns, we answer your questions so you're ready to shop once retailers open their doors again.
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Q: CAN I test products?
A: MOSTLY, no.
For gadgets such as an iPhone or a new television, store staff will give you a demonstration.
In bookstores you will be discouraged from handling books unless you really need to.
Waterstones has said there will be trolleys on which to put books you have picked up but do not want.
Furniture such as sofas and beds will be covered in plastic for safety.
Staff may allow you to sit or lay on them if they can be thoroughly cleaned between.
Make-up is a definite No.
Boots said yesterday it is removing testers like lipstick and eyeshadow and scrapping face-to-face consultations, with video consultations instead.
Stock that is picked up and looked at, such as homeware goods like saucepans, will be cleaned or rotated.
Q: SURELY I can try on clothes? I go to shops to try them on as much as look at them.
A: IT will be discouraged.
Fitting rooms are likely to be shut — since they tend to be small and would need cleaning between use.
Stores will also discourage trying on of clothes for hygiene reasons.
Even trying on a jumper or jacket will be discouraged.
Where it is vital to try something on, say protective gear for key workers, this can be done in changing rooms, but they must be cleaned between use.
Q: WHAT happens with returns?
A: “NO contact” return areas will be set up away from normal tills.
As at tills, these will have a queuing system to keep people two metres apart.
Returned items must be “quarantined” for 72 hours before being put back on sale.
Q: WHAT about click and collect?
A: THIS will be like the returns — and might be in the same area of a store.
Rather than going any time of the day, shoppers might be given “time windows” to avoid queues.
And there could be more Amazon-style pick-up lockers.
Q: CAN I still use the toilet?
A: MANY shops will shut loos for safety.
Stores only have to have toilets if they are serving food and drink.
Most in-store cafes will be shut.
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