// Waterstones confirms plans to reopen its stores in England from June 15
// It will “fully” implement “extensive” health and safety measures in its shops
// It will reopen stores in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland when government guidance allows
Waterstones has confirmed it will reopen the vast majority of its shops in England from June 15 while its stores in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will remain in lockdown.
The bookstore chain, which also owns Foyles, said it would make sure all of its reopened stores have “extensive” health and safety measures “fully implemented”.
The retailer confirmed that one of the key elements of its health and safety measures is providing trolleys so that browsed books are removed for appropriate quarantine off the shop floor.
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In May, Waterstones chief executive James Daunt said these books would be quarantined for at least three days.
“Our intention is to open our shops as soon as we can safely do so, so for English shops from the 15th June,” a Waterstones spokesperson told Retail Gazette.
“As we reopen our doors to customers, the ability to trade safely is paramount for us and we will do so cautiously, making sure that extensive health and safety measures are fully implemented in our shops.
“We await further guidance as to when we will be able to reopen our shops in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.”
Waterstones operates from 240 stores in England, eight in Wales, 27 in Scotland, and eight in Northern Ireland.
The retailer said its Foyles stores will reopen at the same time as the main Waterstones chain in their respective countries.
Meanwhile, Daunt told The Bookseller that there would not be an immediate “rebound” of sales once the retailer’s stores exit lockdown.
He also warned that the reopened stores were likely to be working at below capacity for the ensuing months given the health and safety measures in place.