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Queues and limited browsing in store for English shoppers

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Queues and limited browsing in store for English shoppers

By James Davey

 

2020-05-26T123848Z_1_LYNXMPEG4P140_RTROPTP_4_HEALTH-CORONAVIRUS-BRITAIN-GLOBAL-RETAIL.JPG

A “Welcome back” sign and hand sanitizer is seen at a Zara shop in Oxford Street, London, following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), London, Britain, May 26, 2020. REUTERS/John Sibley

 

LONDON (Reuters) - People eager to hit the shops again when English high street retailers, department stores and shopping centres reopen will face queuing and few opportunities to try products.

 

Stores will look and operate very differently from how they did before a coronavirus lockdown was imposed on March 23 as they comply with new health and safety and social distancing rules.

 

The British government said on Monday that outdoor markets and car showrooms in England can reopen from June 1 followed by all other non-essential retail from June 15.

 

The reopening only applies to England, with retailers in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland waiting for guidance from their devolved administrations on when they can resume trading.

 

Several of the biggest retailers are not planning to open a swathe of stores straight away, with retail analysts warning that compliance with the new health regulations will bring complexity to trading and higher operating and capital costs.

 

Next, which has about 500 clothing stores in Britain and Ireland, said it would only reopen 25 on June 15, while department store chain John Lewis, which has 50 stores, said it would phase its reopening to test the changes.

 

Fashion retailer Primark, which has about 190 stores in Britain, said it would only reopen them when "convinced that it is safe and right to do so."

 

Marks & Spencer, which has kept its food business going through the crisis, was the exception in planning to reopen the majority of its clothing activities on June 15.

 

LOOK, DON'T TOUCH

All four retailers are benefiting from a job retention furlough scheme which the government told employers they will not have to help meet the cost of until August.

 

The safety guidance, laid out in a 33-page document, requires more cleaning, queuing systems with one-way flows and increased signage, and fewer customers in stores, while shopping with children is discouraged.

 

As at supermarkets, which have traded through the lockdown, check-out areas in English stores will have increased screening, while store staff will wear equipment such as face masks and gloves. Regular hand sanitisation will be encouraged.

 

Customers will also be encouraged to avoid handling products whilst browsing - a particular problem for clothing retailers.

 

Fitting rooms should be closed wherever possible, while goods that have been tried-on or returned by customers should be stored in a container or separate room for 72 hours, or cleaned, before being re-displayed.

 

"Queues outside stores, restricted numbers inside, no ability to browse with friends, nor to try on (or possibly even touch) clothes before the purchasing decision will all severely detract from the shopping experience," David Beadle of Moody’s Investors Service said.

 

"As such, prospects of lower revenue and additional costs will see some retailers keep shops closed initially at least."

 

(Reporting by James Davey; Editing by Susan Fenton and Alexander Smith)

 

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-- © Copyright Reuters 2020-05-27
 

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No contract tracing, I note, unlike the unworkable rules now applied in Thailand. Lucky English.

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23 minutes ago, sprq said:

No contract tracing, I note, unlike the unworkable rules now applied in Thailand. Lucky English.

Yesterday in the UK, there were 134 deaths attributed to COVID-19.

 

In Thailand the total number of deaths attributed to COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic is 57.

 

 

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Posted (edited)
35 minutes ago, Chomper Higgot said:

I think, given the hold this disease still has in the UK, I’d forgo shopping anything but essentials, I’m sure very many will do likewise.

 

 

https://www.bbc.com/news/amp/uk-51768274

 

Actually, the level of deaths in Wales and Northern Ireland have fallen back to normal (statistically) as of week 20 of the year. The same is true of even Italy and Spain.

It's only Scotland and England in the UK that are still statistically above normal for deaths... And Sweden and Belgium in the rest of the countries covered by Euromomo.

 

https://www.euromomo.eu/graphs-and-maps#map-of-z-scores

 

Although, when you look at that, you do wonder why it's England that's pushing to exit lockdown first.

Edited by bkk_mike

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3 hours ago, Chomper Higgot said:

Yesterday in the UK, there were 134 deaths attributed to COVID-19.

 

In Thailand the total number of deaths attributed to COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic is 57.

 

 

Is that a simple statement of two sets of unrelated statistics or an acceptance that the Thai statistics are accurate?

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2 minutes ago, PETERTHEEATER said:

Is that a simple statement of two sets of unrelated statistics or an acceptance that the Thai statistics are accurate?

Do you have evidence that the Thai statistics are inaccurate?

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He asked, why do you think i'm lying? I replied, because your mouth is moving 😉

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8 hours ago, sprq said:

No contract tracing, I note, unlike the unworkable rules now applied in Thailand. Lucky English.

 

Yes, compare the numbers of cases / deaths. Really lucky British!

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4 hours ago, Chomper Higgot said:

Do you have evidence that the Thai statistics are inaccurate?

Do you...?

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8 hours ago, Chomper Higgot said:

Yesterday in the UK, there were 134 deaths attributed to COVID-19.

 

In Thailand the total number of deaths attributed to COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic is 57.

 

 

 

in directly comparing these statistics are you saying that they were collated in exactly the same way? using identical criteria, and can you confirm the reliability and credibility of the systems and personnel responsible for data and information generation and collection?

 

if any western country had the fatality rate of thailand they would almost certainly be pretty much open for business. indeed italy, spain and portugal, to name but three, have much higher fatality rates currently but are further on the road to opening up. doesn't that tell you something?

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20 hours ago, samsensam said:

 

in directly comparing these statistics are you saying that they were collated in exactly the same way? using identical criteria, and can you confirm the reliability and credibility of the systems and personnel responsible for data and information generation and collection?

 

if any western country had the fatality rate of thailand they would almost certainly be pretty much open for business. indeed italy, spain and portugal, to name but three, have much higher fatality rates currently but are further on the road to opening up. doesn't that tell you something?

No it doesn’t tell me anything.

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