UK's John Lewis plans 'phased' re-opening of department stores - Metro US

UK’s John Lewis plans ‘phased’ re-opening of department stores

FILE PHOTO: General view of a John Lewis store, as the company announces it will close all of its stores due to the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Croydon

LONDON (Reuters) – British retailer John Lewis Partnership said on Tuesday it will re-open its department stores on a “phased basis” after the government said non-essential retail could re-open from June 15.

John Lewis, which trades from 50 stores across the UK, did not say how many of its stores would re-open on June 15.

“Our plan sees us open our shops on a phased basis, to enable us to test the changes we are introducing and ensure the best and safest customer and partner (employee) experience,” it said.

Those changes include more rigorous and frequent cleaning, caps on the number of customers entering stores, a reduced number of entrances, prominent social distancing signage and protective screens at checkouts and store areas where two metres social distancing cannot be achieved between customers and employees.

John Lewis also plans to limit the customer services it offers. For example close-contact beauty services will not be offered and customer catering outlets and fitting rooms will remain closed.

In line with government guidance, the retailer will also separate returned stock from other stock for 72 hours.

(Reporting by James Davey; editing by Kate Holton)

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