Wickes, the home improvement retailer, announces plans for a trial that will see it re-open six stores with strict new social distancing measures in place to protect colleagues and customers. Stores in Pudsey, Cheltenham, Preston, Sevenoaks, Cricklewood and Hailsham will open to the public on Thursday 30 April.
In addition to the new social distancing measures, the trial stores will operate shorter opening hours on Monday to Saturday, opening at 7.00am and closing at 6.00pm. With Sunday reverting to the trading hours of 10.00am to 4.00pm.
Initiatives that have been successfully deployed by other essential retailers are being introduced to ensure customers can shop safely and colleagues remain protected. Each of the stores will limit the number of customers in the shop at any one time, while clear signage and floor markers will advise customers to keep two metres apart. Additionally, each shop has installed perspex screens at the tills and service stations, and colleagues on the shop floor will be using PPE. Sanitising stations have been installed for customer use and the stores will only accept card and contactless payments.
Although an essential retailer under the hardware category, Wickes put customer and colleague safety at the forefront and closed its stores in March following the Government’s social distancing guidelines, continuing to serve customers through its online platform, Wickes.co.uk. The website remains open for customers, with options available for Click & Collect and home delivery orders across the country.
Services such as timber cutting and paint mixing will not be available during the trial period and Showroom Kitchen & Bathroom design appointments are only available to customers virtually.
Furthermore, refunds will be unavailable until all Wickes stores open fully in keeping with the retailer’s extended policy.