Wickes is to begin a phased reopening of its stores to the public in the next two weeks, with strict new safety measures in place to protect customers and colleagues. Despite being an essential retailer, Wickes took the decision to serve its customers exclusively through its digital channels since closing all stores in March.
The roll-out follows the successful trial opening of six stores which implemented new social distancing measures, and will happen in two phases, with 106 shops opening on Thursday 14th May and the remaining 108 opening their doors on Tuesday 19th May.
All stores will have social distancing measures in place to protect colleagues and customers. These initiatives mirror those deployed by other essential retailers and are available to view via a customer facing video found online. The steps taken should provide reassurance to consumers that they can shop safely in store and that colleagues are well protected.
Wickes will limit the number of people in its stores at any one time, there will be clear signage and floor markers to ensure people remain two metres apart and perspex screens have been installed at the tills. Sanitising stations will be made available for customer use, colleagues will be using PPE and the shops will only accept card and contactless payments.
David Wood, Wickes CEO, said: “The safety of our colleagues and customers is always our absolute priority. In recent weeks we have taken time to review in great detail how to operate our stores safely in the wake of Covid-19 and we are confident we have put the right measures in place to achieve this. We have measured the customers’ experience in the Wickes trial stores, with 8 out of 10 describing their experience as ‘excellent’ with regard to feeling ‘safe and secure’. This positive customer feedback is only possible thanks to the hard work of our store colleagues. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of them for how they have responded to the challenges posed by the pandemic in shifting focus to successfully serve our customers through Click & Collect and home delivery. We look forward to welcoming our customers back through our doors in the weeks ahead.”
The opening hours of the stores will still be shorter than they were prior to temporary closures. Store dependent, trading hours Monday to Saturday will start from either 6.00am or 7.00am, closing at 4.00pm or 5.00pm. Sunday trading hours remain 10.00am to 4.00pm.