Primark becomes one of first shops to confirm late opening hours post-lockdown

Non-essential shops are permitted to trade until 10pm from Monday to Saturday

Ellie Abraham@ellieabraham
Tuesday 06 April 2021 15:26
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Primark has announced it will be extending its opening hours across most of its stores when non-essential retail is permitted to reopen on 12 April.

On Monday, Boris Johnson confirmed that, in line with the roadmap out of lockdown, England will see the reopening of shops next Monday.

In his announcement, the prime minister confirmed this next stage would also include pubs and restaurants serving customers outside.

Ahead of its reopening, clothing retailer Primark has announced that it will extend its opening hours across most of its stores.

Longer shopping hours have been put in place to avoid congestion in non-essential stores and on transport, communities secretary Robert Jenrick confirmed on 26 March. Shops will be permitted to stay open from 7am until 10pm from Monday to Saturday.

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Jenrick said that the change, while temporary, will help businesses bounce back from what has been a devastating time for them financially.

He said: “This will provide a much-needed boost for many businesses - protecting jobs, reducing pressure on public transport and supporting people and communities to continue to visit their high streets safely and shop locally.”

Primark has 153 stores across England and has announced it is extending its opening by two hours in most branches.

Most Primark stores plan to open an hour early and close an hour later as the last time they reopened there were large queues and high demand.

Primark said: “We are following local government guidelines and limiting the number of customers allowed in store at any one time to allow for appropriate distance between customers and employees.

“Clear signature and floor decals, as well as dedicated employees and security staff, to guide customers through the store in a way that limits contact with others.

“We have redesigned the layout of stores to allow for more space between people by reconfiguring our queuing system at our till points to allow for social distancing. Dedicated employees will be on hand when needed to manage the correct flow of the queue.”

While the shops may be re-opening, shoppers will still have to adhere to strict rules in order to make it as safe as possible for customers and staff:

  • Household mixing is still banned in indoor venues, including shops, and social distancing between shoppers will have to be maintained.
  • Masks are mandatory (unless exempt) inside stores and one way systems will be put in place to reduce transmission risk.
  • Limits on the number of people allowed in stores at any one time are required to be able to maintain social distancing. This may mean queueing outside.
  • Changing rooms are allowed to be opened, but the government advises they will have to be carefully managed. 

The government said: “The enclosed nature of fitting rooms may result in increased risk of transmission of Covid-19. They should therefore be carefully managed to reduce that risk.

“Retail businesses should update their risk assessments for each premises where fitting rooms are being used.”

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