IKEA will ban families from shopping as they start to reopen stores amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The Swedish homewares giant plans to reopen 19 stores across England and Northern Ireland from the beginning of next month – but with strict social distancing rules in place.
Social distancing wardens will be on patrol to ensure shoppers keep their distance when 19 select stores reopen from June 1,
Ikea will allow one adult and one child per household inside at any one time – however family visits will be banned.
While play areas and restaurants will remain shut, Ikea have made their popular meatball snacks pandemic-friendly, now available in food courts to cook at home.
On reopening to the public, bosses said they aim to limit customer numbers via a staggered entry system and are asking shoppers to “come prepared with ready-made lists and own bags”.
Extra hand sanitiser and more deep cleans of bags, trolleys, bathrooms, equipment and touchscreens will take place.
The company temporarily closed all of its 22 UK stores on March 22 in accordance with government guidance during the coronavirus lockdown.
But now homeware retailers are allowed to reopen it was today announced.
Click and collect facilities in England, Wales and Northern Ireland will also restart from the same date in a phased approach.
Due to separate lockdown measures, stores in Scotland, Wales and the Republic of Ireland will remain closed for browsing, though.
Customers can continue to buy from Ikea online’s website or through its app for home delivery, as has been the case throughout lockdown.
A full list of Ikea’s new safety measures is in the table below.
It has 22 UK shops, three order and collection points, and two planning studios in London.The planning studios, and order and collection points won’t reopen just yet though.
The Coventry store, which was meant to close this summer, also will not reopen again.
The announcement today follows the government easing restrictions on homeware retailers and garden centres.
Peter Jelkeby, UK and Ireland country chief executive said: “We’re looking forward to warmly welcoming customers and co-workers back into our stores from June 1.
“Their health and safety remains our top priority, and that’s why we’ve put in place extensive measures to ensure the safety and comfort of customers and co-workers.
“While the experience might be a little different to before – it’s the same Ikea, with the vision to “create a better everyday life for the many people”, and the ambition to inspire people through our brilliant affordable range and home furnishing advice.
“Throughout lockdown, we’ve had the unique privilege of being a part of people’s everyday lives at home, and we’re committed to continuing doing whatever we can to support our customers and co-workers on this next part of the journey we take together.”
A number of other shops have started reopening branches including Dunelm and Furniture Village.
Some fast food chains are also now open for delivery and drive-thru orders, including McDonald’s and KFC.
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