// Ikea opens Croydon store for vulnerable customers & key workers to access essential food items
// It will stock usual items found in its Swedish Food Market, as well as staple items including bread & milk
// Other members of the public will not be admitted, and the rest of the store will remain closed
Ikea has opened its Croydon store’s Swedish Food Market exclusively for vulnerable customers and key workers to allow them access to essential food items during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Swedish Food Market – typically selling Swedish favourites and found after the tills in every Ikea branch – is opening to key workers including NHS staff and police, the elderly, most vulnerable and their carers and Ikea co-workers.
Other members of the public will not be admitted, and the rest of the store will remain closed as part of a nationwide government-mandated shutdown of all non-essential stores.
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In addition to its normal range including meatballs, salmon balls and vegetable balls, the Swedish Food Market in Croydon will stock much-needed staple items such as bread, milk, butter and canned tomatoes.
Ikea said the reason behind partially opening its South London store was due to its proximity to Croydon University Hospital, which is one of the worst hit by coronavirus in London.
“The decision to stock food for NHS workers is a way Ikea can continue supporting these hospitals and the wider, local community – offering an additional way to access food for those with the greatest need,” the furniture giant said in a statement.
The store will initially open to key workers Monday to Friday between 8am–12noon and 2pm–4pm, while elderly and vulnerable customers and carers can visit between 12noon– 2pm.
Customers will be asked to show ID to gain entrance.
Ikea said it was also implementing health and safety measures to reduce the risk of transmission between customers and staff, such as two-metre distancing, hand sanitizers for customers to use before entering, protection screens at checkout tills, card-only transactions, and a thorough cleaning of all areas.
In addition, customers are restricted to purchasing a maximum of two of any one product at one time.
“Now more than ever we need to come together as a community,” Ikea Croydon store manager Gary Pearce said.
“We want to do everything we can to support those most in need, including NHS workers at our local hospitals.
“By offering some essential food items alongside our Swedish Food range, we hope that we can help to make their everyday lives just a little bit easier during these tough times.”
The opening of the Croydwon Swedish Food Store is the latest effort from the retailer in helping NHS workers during the coronavirus pandemic.
Yesterday, Ikea opened a drive-through testing centre for medical staff on the frontline in the car park of the furniture retailer’s store in Wembley, north-west London.
Ikea has since said it would review its other sites to see if any more testing sites can be set up.