Today (15 June) John Lewis has started to reopen its shops starting with Kingston and Poole, with a further 11 to open on Thursday (18th June) this week. The openings are part of its plans to take a steady, gradual approach to shop reopenings, with more shops opening later this summer depending on customer and Partner reaction to the new ways of operating with social distancing measures in place. John Lewis shut all of its 50 shops on 23rd March – the first time it has done so in its 155 year history.
Customers visiting the shops were welcomed back by Partners who were on hand to provide guidance and advice about the new measures in place including the customer services available, social distancing signage, new protocols for using lifts and escalators, rigorous cleaning, availability of hand sanitiser, and new “contactless” dropboxes for returns. New “Customer Service Hosts” were on hand to help manage queues and customer numbers in the store.
Bérangère Michel, executive director for customer service at the John Lewis Partnership, said: “Our Partners have been incredibly excited to welcome customers back into our department stores today. We are taking a gradual approach to reopening to make our shops as safe as they can possibly be for our customers and Partners but this was a very welcome first step. Our first customers were really struck by the fact that they could still have an enjoyable experience and get the inspiration they wanted.”
During the early weeks of lockdown customers sought items that would help support them in their day-to-day lives during lockdown including home technology, office furniture and items to educate and entertain children but this morning customers were returning to shops to buy fashion items, kitchenware and technology – from washing machines to mobile phones.
Top sellers in the first two hours of trading this morning at Kingston included:
- British Fashion Council face coverings
- Egg cups
- China sets
- Baby sleepsuits
Top sellers in the first two hours of trading this morning at Poole included:
- Pillowcases and bed sheets
- Printer cartridges