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Thursday, August 13, 2020

The future of the John Lewis and Newbury stores remains uncertain

The John Lewis stores in Reading and Newbury are not listed in the latest stores to be reopened.

The company has announced that 10 stores will reopen on Monday 13 July and the two Berkshire stores are not among them.

Other stores are expected to reopen later this summer, but the company said at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic that some stores would likely not reopen.

It is not yet known what these stores are and those that remain closed include Broad Street in Reading and the Parkway shopping center in Newbury.

The group claimed to stick to its “safe, not fast” approach.

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Berangere Michel, executive director of customer service for the John Lewis Partnership, added: “We are learning as we progress and perfect our approach to offer our customers and partners the best possible experience.

“Customer feedback is that they really like being able to test and try products like 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 removal measures, including reducing the number of entrances and exits, the limit of customers allowed in each shop, protective screens at checkouts and new delivery boxes for returned goods that must be quarantined for 48 hours.

He recently said that some stores will increase the number of customers allowed on each site at any time after the bosses found that social distancing was possible with a larger crowd in larger stores.

The Mirror reported that the company, which also owns Bracknell-based Waitrose, may withdraw its famous bonus partner as it struggles to increase sales.

The company told Mirror Money: “The reality is that we have too much storage space for the way people want to shop now and we have shared this with our partners.

“As difficult as it is, it is highly unlikely that we will reopen all our John Lewis stores. However, no decision has been made and all details will be shared with Partners by mid-July.”

The stores that will reopen on July 13 are: Basingstoke, Cardiff, Chelmsford, Chester, Edinburgh, Exeter, Glasgow, Stratford and Trafford Center, Manchester

Shop security measures now include:

  • Reduction of the number of entrances and exits of shops
  • Limits on the number of customers entering stores
  • Signage of prominent social distinction
  • Protective screens at checkouts and shop areas where social distances between customers and staff cannot be reached.
  • Procedures for escalators and elevators that limit the number of users
  • Rigorous and frequent cleaning
  • Hand sanitizer for customers to be used in all entrances and in all shops
  • Social distancing in the back of domestic areas
  • New contactless payment limit of £ 45
  • Limitation of additional services to customers – for example, beauty services will not be offered in close contact. The dressing rooms will remain closed until further notice. Some third-party eateries will be open, but later we will open our place to eat and our coffees. Customers can still get all the usual support and advice during the experience, customer support and welcome desks.
  • Simple and secure return process that includes new junction boxes and 48-hour return quarantine

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