In preparation for the reopening of shops, beginning tomorrow, the British Retail Consortium along with twenty-five* retailers have come together to launch five simple steps to encourage considerate shopping. The retailers are urging the public to play their part in creating a safe and enjoyable retail environment for other customers and retail staff.

  1. Queue considerately
  2. Maintain social distancing
  3. Follow instructions inside and outside shops
  4. Follow all necessary hygiene measures
  5. Be respectful to shop staff

The reopening of non-essential shops from June 15th marks a crucial time for thousands of retailers and hundreds of thousands of jobs. According to the latest BRC Retail Sales growth figures, and ONS total sales figures, lockdown has cost non-food stores an estimated £1.7 billion per week during April and May.

Retailers have been working hard to ensure their stores are prepared and safe for staff and customers and have implemented all the necessary social distancing measures, such as perspex screens at counters, signs and floor markings around the store, and new rotas and procedures for cleaning.

The call is supported by Ann Summers, ASDA, Carpetright, Co-op, Crew Clothing, Debenhams, Dixons Carphone, Fenwick, F Hinds, hmv, Homebase, Iceland, KFC, Marks & Spencer, Matalan, Mountain Warehouse, Pets at Home, Poundland, Primark, Space NK, The DFS Group, The Dune Group, The John Lewis Partnership, The Perfume Shop and WHSmith


Helen Dickinson, Chief Executive, British Retail Consortium:
“It has never been more important to play our part in keeping our towns and high streets vibrant. Every visit we make helps support jobs in retail, as well as throughout the supply chain. Retailers have been working around the clock to create a safe shopping environment, so their customers can have the confidence to return to their favourite shops. Our shopping experience may be changing, but if we all follow the necessary social distancing measures and show a little consideration to those around us, then everyone will be better off.”

Damian Mcgloughlin, CEO, Homebase, said:
“Following a few weeks of closure to implement strict safety precautions, Homebase stores have remained open to customers during the lockdown. We have been heartened by the respect and consideration so many customers have shown towards our store teams as we all adjust to new ways of shopping, so as more retailers start to open we wanted to ensure this remains a priority. We’ve been working closely with the British Retail Consortium to inform the ‘five steps for considerate shopping’ and encourage shoppers to continue playing their part in creating a safe, enjoyable retail environment – for other customers, but particularly importantly for the store teams working so hard under these unusual circumstances.”

Wilf Walsh, CEO, Carpetright, said:
“We’re delighted to see our stores reopen and are committed to providing safe shopping experiences for both customers and colleagues. It’s vitally important that social distancing and hygiene measures, such as regular hand washing or sanitising, are adhered to, and that we all remain mindful of others during these challenging times.”

Andrew Hinds, Director, F Hinds, said:
“Even in smaller shops such as our jewellery stores, we are happy that we’ve been able to put in place a comprehensive system of measures to ensure that all of our customers and staff remain safe.  We are also confident that we will be able to maintain the high levels of customer interaction and service that our products require.  To help us to do this, it is vital that our customers follow the guidance from our store teams to help us to manage their visit safely and efficiently.”

Georgina Clark, Brand Director, Crew Clothing:
“We’re looking forward to welcoming customers back through our doors on Monday. The safety of our teams and our customers has always been front of mind and we’ve made sure that every possible measure has been put in place. We’re also incredibly proud to say that giving back has been at the heart of our brand strategy throughout this pandemic. We’ve raised over £50,000 for charity and gifted 1,000s of hero products.”

Steve Rowe, CEO, M&S, said:
“When wider retail reopens its doors on Monday we will be set up and ready to serve our customers - with a safe and welcoming place to shop. Customers can expect all the social distancing and hygiene measures they have seen in our foodhalls - from new signage and perspex screens at tills to hand sanitiser stations at the doors. As one of the UK’s most trusted brands, it’s our job to help give our customers the confidence to come out and shop, and while things might look and feel different, customers can still expect the same great service M&S is known for.”

Mark Allsop, COO, Dixons Carphone, said:
“We said we’d offer customers many ways of shopping safely with us as soon as the government gave us the green light to reopen our stores, and that’s what we’re now doing. With our safe shopping approach, we’re able to give customers the vital help and technology they need to stay healthy, connected, productive and entertained during the pandemic. We’re ready with all appropriate safety measures in place and a focus on customer service for those who haven’t been able to visit us until now and who have questions about tech. We’re excited to be able to welcome our customers back in our stores and our colleagues are ready to give them all the expert help they need.”

Steven Cook, Managing Director, Debenhams, said:
"We are delighted to be welcoming customers back to our stores in the coming weeks. From the installation of perspex screens at till points to the roll-out of social distancing procedures and PPE, we have been working hard to ensure our colleagues and customers can work and shop with confidence.”

John Edgar, CEO, Fenwick:
“With the imminent re-opening of our shops, the safety of our colleagues and customers is our absolute priority and we have been working diligently in order to make our stores compliant with the guidelines, yet still give our customers a truly Fenwick experience.  Premium department stores such as Fenwick are the best place to enjoy shopping in the current situation – as well as the strict safety measures we have put in place, we have ample space, an incredible selection of brands and products all under one roof and plenty of advisors providing excellent customer service.  We are ready and prepared to open our physical stores on 15th June and we are very much looking forward to welcoming our customers then.”

Doug Putman, Owner, hmv, said:
“Our teams have been working on plans to reopen since the day we had to close our doors. We’ve redesigned our store layouts so that customers can make their way through the stores, buy what they want and pay seamlessly, while maintaining spaces for those who want to browse while maintaining social distancing. We’ve sought to keep as much of what people love about the hmv and Fopp experience intact and build on the experience whilst ensuring that customers can shop with us comfortably and confidently.”

Tarsem Dhaliwal, CEO, Iceland Foods, said:
“We warmly welcome the reopening of other retailers to bring life back to the nation’s high streets, where only a few essential stores like Iceland have been able to trade for the last three months. It’s vital that customers show respect to the retail workers who will be returning to work to serve them, particularly by adhering to the social distancing and hygiene rules that have been put in place for the protection of customers and staff alike.”

Austin Cooke, Retail Director, Poundland, said:
“Whether colleagues or customers we’re all in this together. It’s important we look out for each other”

Mike Jeans, Retail Director, Matalan
“As we all start getting used to a new normal, we are really happy to be welcoming our customers back into stores. We have been carrying out a safe and phased re-opening of a number of stores and our priority is to protect both our colleagues and our customers’ safety in every store. We are extremely grateful to all of our colleagues for their dedicated efforts in caring for our customers and the business, and to our customers for their continued loyalty to Matalan.”

Berangere Michel, Executive Director, Customer Service, John Lewis Partnership
"Our Partners are really excited about welcoming customers back into our department stores from Monday and to giving them the inspiration they want. We are taking a gradual approach to reopening to make our shops as safe as they can possibly be for our customers and Partners. However, we are confident we can still offer them a really enjoyable experience."