Homewares and home-furnishing retailer IKEA today announces that it will reopen 19 stores across England and Northern Ireland from 1st June, with Click & Collect facilities in England, Wales and Northern Ireland also opening in a phased approach. In line with Government guidelines, stores in Scotland, Wales and the Republic of Ireland will remain closed.
In March, prior to the Government lockdown, IKEA voluntarily closed its stores, to ensure customer and co-worker safety. Drawing on its experience of reopening IKEA stores safely in a number of countries around the world and following new Government guidance around social distancing and safe ways of working, IKEA is looking forward to reopening its stores, having implemented a series of enhanced safety measures, to protect co-workers and those customers wanting to shop in-store. These measures include:
· Limited numbers of customers will be granted entry in store at any one time. A staggered entry system and restricted car parking will be in place and, in line with guidance, one adult and one child per household will be permitted in-store at any one point.
· Social Distance Wardens throughout the store to help customers find their way round the new one-way system and ensure new social distancing measures are being followed
· Customers are urged to come prepared with ready-made lists and their own bags, and those wishing purely to return items, are encouraged to do so at a later date. IKEA has a 365 day returns policy
· Additional hand sanitiser facilities and more frequent deep cleaning routines for bags, trolleys, bathrooms, rest areas, equipment and touchscreens
· Screens at key areas such as checkouts, service points and customer returns, to enable social distancing
· Planning services will only be available online
· Cashless payments only, by card and contactless
· All play areas will remain closed, as will the customer restaurant
· Swedish Food Market will be open, with the Bistro offering a takeaway service
Initially, all play areas and restaurants will remain closed. Whilst customers won’t be able to eat in store, they will be able to purchase much-loved items including meatballs from the Swedish Food Market, so they can be made at home. Meanwhile the Bistro, which operates a contact-free takeaway service, will be open with enhanced safety measures in place, including: two-metre distancing, screens, cashless payments only, and deeper and more frequent cleaning routines.
Peter Jelkeby, UK&IE Country CEO and CSO, says: “We’re looking forward to warmly welcoming customers and co-workers back into our stores from 1 June.
“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.”
In its first phase of reopening, IKEA will reopen the majority of its stores in England and Northern Ireland. In line with Government guidance, its stores in Wales, Scotland and Ireland will remain closed to customers. Its smaller London Planning Studios and Order & Collection points will also remain closed for the time being. Following the news in February this year that IKEA was proposing to close its Coventry store in summer 2020, the retailer will not reopen here to customers and the store will remain closed.
In response to the COVID-19 crisis, IKEA has been supporting its local communities and the NHS including the re-opening of four Swedish Food Markets to key workers – giving them access to essential items – and the transformation of its Gateshead and Wembley car parks into drive-through test centres so NHS staff could be tested for the virus.
In addition to stores reopening, customers are also able shop online. Orders continue to be fulfilled in-line with government guidance, with enhanced safety and social distancing measures in warehouses, and doorstep only and contact-free delivery. IKEA is also encouraging customers who purely wish to return items, not to come to stores in the first instance. IKEA has a 365 day returns policy and urges customers, where possible, to return items at a later date, when they will find it easier to do so.
To ensure that customers can shop with IKEA however they want to, wardrobe, kitchen, living room storage, sofa and home furnishing planning services are all available online. For further information on these, visit: https://www.ikea.com/gb/en/customer-service/services/online-planning-service-pub919820b0