Furniture Village has re-opened six of its stores (Bristol, Friern Barnet, Gillingham, South Ruislip, Tamworth and York), with the remaining 46 set to re-open on Saturday 23rd May, after the Government clarified its definition of home and hardware retail as 'essential' with the inclusion of homewares stores.
Following the introduction of extensive new safety measures and clear guidance for visitors, the feedback from customers on the in-store experience has been overwhelmingly positive, the retailer reports.
The new set-up sees every customer personally greeted at the entrance to the store, where their temperature is taken and they are asked to sanitise their hands before proceeding. Once inside, customers are guided by signage throughout the store which will remind them to stay 2m apart. Hand sanitiser will also be readily available, and placed at regular intervals on the customers’ route, and guided viewings by appointment are also available.
All staff will be supplied with protective face shields and are also required to have their temperature checked before entering the store. Perspex screens have been installed at all pay points and consultant desks, and disposable pens are available for paperwork.
Commercial director Charlie Harrison comments: “We are delighted to be officially re-opening all Furniture Village stores this week in line with the latest Government guidance. We are immensely proud of our teams who have been working tirelessly to get everything ready, and the feedback from customers who have visited stores so far has been incredible.
“It is of the utmost important to us that our customers can shop safely in our stores and that our staff remain protected and comfortable whilst they work. We will be continuously evaluating feedback from all parties and will quickly implement any required changes to ensure that this always remains the case.”
The British Retail Consortium (BRC) recommends allowing a minimum of 12.5 sqm per person in order to maintain safe 2m social distancing. Furniture Village will be allowing for 25sqm per person, or 50sqm per family group, and the retailer has created a short safety video for customers to demonstrate how the new measures will be implemented in stores.
DFS is also planning to re-open stores ready for the bank holiday weekend.