// John Lewis to reopen another 10 stores in latest phase of lockdown exit on July 13
// The latest tranche of reopenings includes its first in Wales and Scotland and the Oxford Street flagship
// Once they reopen, John Lewis will have 32 in operation while 18 others remain closed for the time being
John Lewis Partnership has unveiled reopening plans for another 10 of its department stores including its first in Wales and Scotland as well as the Oxford Street flagship.
The group said John Lewis shops in Basingstoke, Cardiff, Chelmsford, Chester, Edinburgh, Exeter, Glasgow, Stratford and the Trafford Centre will reopen on July 13.
Its Oxford Street flagship will open later that week, on July 16, as John Lewis said the size of the shop meant it needed extra time to finalise plans.
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The latest raft of reopenings will take the total so far to 32 since lockdown restrictions have eased for non-essential shops, with 18 stores remaining closed.
England was the first to allow non-essential retailers to reopen, on June 15, followed by Wales on June 23 and Scotland on June 29.
John Lewis said it would open more of its shops later in the summer, although insiders have warned previously it is “highly unlikely” all 50 will ever reopen again.
The partnership said it was also sticking to its “safe, not fast” approach.
“We are learning as we go and tweaking our approach to give our customers and partners the best possible experience,” John Lewis Partnership customer service executive director Berangere Michel said.
“Feedback from customers is that they really enjoy being able to test and try out products such as tablets, mattresses and shoes, all in a safe environment, as well as asking our expert partners for advice.”
John Lewis has put in place a number of social distancing measures, including cutting the number of entrances and exits, capping customers allowed in each store, protective screens at checkouts as well as new drop boxes for returned goods to be quarantined for 48 hours.
It recently said some of the stores will increase the number of customers allowed in each site at any one time after bosses found that social distancing was possible with greater crowds in bigger stores.
with PA Wires