The government announced all non-essential shops could open on 15th June, which of course included the much missed Primark. Locals keen to enjoy the re-opening of the bargain fashion store were queueing from 6am this morning, and the queues snaked all the way around the corner to Specsavers/Roman for the first day of shopping since lockdown began.
At the front of the store, a staff member in a high-vis vest was monitoring the queue, ready to count in 50 shoppers entering the store, and keeping the queue organised. Two female managerial members of staff thathad face visors were assessing the queue and discussing the situation over radio with staff inside the store, and instructing shoppers to maintain 2m distance from each other and other shop fronts.
Hot items on people’s shopping lists included jogging bottoms, leggings, swimwear, dresses, and accessories.
Many locals scoffed as they walked past the queue, exclaiming statements such as “you’re having a laugh”.
Primark has put in special measures to ensure public and staff are as safe as possible, including limiting the numbers of people entering the store, hand sanitiser installed on entry, pre-sanitised baskets and screens to protect the staff at the tills. Staff also were able to wear PPE as they felt comfortable, such as gloves, surgical masks and visors. Primark has also asked people to refrain from trying on clothes and shoes whilst in the store, and the fitting rooms are closed.
All the measures Primark put in place ensured that the shopping experience in the store was hugely enjoyable and safe. I was able to maintain social distancing the majority of the time as store was far emptier than a pre-lockdown Primark would have ever been. One member of staff said she had been very anxious to return to work, but had been surprised how comfortable she had felt with the new measures put in place.
However it wasn’t just Primark people were keen to shop at, Sports Direct across the street also had a sizeable socially distanced queue.
If shops can continue to maintain excellent hygiene and social distancing for the foreseeable future, I can see people really beginning to enjoy the small return to normality that a shoppertunity provides.
By Cassie Mae