02nd Jun 2020
Phase three of the government’s roadmap to reopening the country will see larger chains and retail stores opening – here is what they will look like
The rough plan of our lives is now dictated by a series of phases.
We are now in phase one. Next Monday, we will enter phase two. Then it will be three and, if all goes to plan, phase four and phase five will chase up the rear.
Under the guidelines of the government’s roadmap, phase three will see the reopening of larger chains and non-essential retail stores on June 29.
Arnotts and Brown Thomas have announced several changes they are making to the shopping experience to make their stores a safe place for customers to frequent.
Donald McDonald, the Managing Director of both stores, spoke to the Irish Times about the new changes which will adhere to strict Covid-19 guidelines.
Mr McDonald said that when the stores reopen customers will have an option to pre-book a time slot. Walk-in customers will have to queue and maintain a two-metre distance from others.
Only 450 people will be allowed in Brown Thomas at any one time, while the number is 1,100 for Arnotts. A one-way system will be introduced. Customers will no longer be allowed to test make-up over the counter. A virtual option will be provided instead.
In changing rooms, clothes will be sanitised and quarantined after use. The restaurants and toilets on the premises will also be closed initially.
Reports over the weekend suggested Irish retailer Penneys plans to reopen on a phased basis from June to August. In the UK, it was announced that 153 of the country’s Primark outlets would open their doors on June 15.
In a statement, Primark UK outlined the measures stores were taking to create a healthy environment. “Social distancing protocols, hand sanitiser stations, perspex screens at tills, and additional cleaning of high-frequency touchpoints in the store are among the measures we are implementing.”
Workers will have access to gloves and face masks also.
While Primark Ireland hasn’t confirmed dates yet a spokesperson said: “Nothing matters more to us than the health and wellbeing of our employees and customers. That is why we will only reopen our stores in Ireland once we are convinced that it is safe and right to do so. We are closely following all safety advice from Government and will treat this as the minimum standard across all our stores.”
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