// Wickes stores to begin re-opening of 106 stores Thursday May 14
// Target to have 220 stores open nationwide by Tuesday May 19
Wickes has announced a phased re-opening of its stores to the public in the next two weeks, with strict safety measures in place to protect customers and staff amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Despite being classified as an essential retailer and having permission to remain open during the lockdown, Wickes decided to close its stores and only serve customers through its digital channels.
This meant focusing its store operation on fulfilment, supporting home deliveries and providing customers with click-and-collect.
- Wickes owner Travis Perkins hit by 2/3 fall in sales in April
- B&Q re-opens full store estate as lockdown continues
- Homebase re-opens 50 extra stores, with plans to reopen all this weekend
Wickes said its re-opening rollout follows the successful trial opening of six stores which implemented new social distancing measures.
The reo-opening will happen in two phases, with 106 shops opening tomorrow (May 14) before the the remaining 108 other stores open their doors on Tuesday next week (May 19).
Wickes said stores would implement “strict” social distancing measures which mirror those deployed by other essential retailers in order to protect staff and customers.
The home and DIY retailer said it would limit the number of people in its stores at any one time, there would 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 also be made available for customer use, colleagues will be using PPE and the shops will only accept card and contactless payments.
Meanwhile, opening hours will still be shorter than they were prior to temporary closures and will vary store to store.
“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,” Wickes chief executive David Wood said.
“We have measured the customers’ experience in the Wickes trial stores, with eight 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-and-collect and home delivery.
“We look forward to welcoming our customers back through our doors in the weeks ahead.”