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IKEA will soon re-open after it initially closed in March due to the coronavirus lockdown.
The Swedish retail giant is planning to open 19 stores across the UK and Northern Ireland as well as click and collect options in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
IKEA was one of the first retail giants to close as a response to the pandemic, and now it’ll be re-opening its doors again, albeit in a slightly different way to what we’re used to.
Like supermarkets and garden centres, a new social distancing protocol will be in place, which will limit the amount of people allowed in stores at any given time.
It will also include “one-way” arrows, like many supermarkets have adopted.
Speaking of the decision to re-open, Peter Jelkeby, UK&IE Country CEO and CSO, said: “We’re looking forward to warmly welcoming customers and co-workers back into our stores.
“Their health and safety remains our top priority, and that’s why we’ve put in place extensive measures to ensure the safety and comfort of customers and co-workers.
"While the experience might be a little different to before – it’s the same IKEA, with the vision to ‘create a better everyday life for the many people’, and the ambition to inspire people through our brilliant affordable range and home furnishing advice.”
In line with government advice, IKEA - along with many other non-essential shops - will begin a phased re-opening from 1 June.
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Although most of the shop will be open, two areas will remain closed for the time being; the restaurants and the children’s play areas.
If you’ve been craving the famous IKEA meatballs in lockdown, then fear not, the food market will be open so people can take the ingredients home.
The sites opening are:
East of England:
North West and NI:
South East :
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If you’ve been to supermarkets during the lockdown, many of IKEA’s newly adopted social distancing rules probably won’t seem that strange to you.
The first rule the company has decided to adopt pertains to the amount of people allowed in a store at any given time. Like many shops, a queue system will be put in place as well as restricted car parking.
Only one person and one child per household will be allowed in the store, too, so family trips to IKEA are off the cards for the time being.
IKEA will also be deploying Social Distancing Wardens around the store, helping people find their way around the one way system and making sure customers are keeping to social distancing measures.
Since IKEA has a 365 day returns policy, customers looking to simply return something are urged not to do so during the current restrictions. The chain of stores are also encouraging people to come with a list, rather than just to browse.
The new ruling doesn’t end there. Hand sanitisers will be more readily available and more frequent deep cleans (including cleans of touchscreens - which are a concern for many) will be done.
Plan your own kitchen areas will only be available online for the time being and all payments must be done by card.