Retailers in London’s West End prepare for re-opening
The organisation representing retailers in London’s West End has produced a set of plans for a phased and safe reopening of the shopping district.
Designed to complement the latest government advice, the plans have been assembled by New West End Company with input from both UK and overseas organisations.
Jace Tyrrell, chief executive of New West End Company, said: “Our priority is a safe re-opening of the West End, and we continue to work collaboratively with West End businesses and local authorities to put in place clear operational and logistical plans to get back to work safely. Having acted early to protect public health, it is right that we set an example for the nation’s high streets in helping communities rebuild confidence in spending time together outside.”
New West End Company is also working closely with Transport for London and Westminster City Council to manage foot traffic. Plans include the introduction of clear markings on pavements across Oxford Street, Bond Street and Regent Street to help shoppers observe social distancing. In addition, store visitor numbers will be closely managed through marked waiting areas to the left of store entrances.
Retailers will also be advised to use responsible promotional strategies with discounting and sales kept online to avoid long queues and crowding.
Selfridges has already managed a successful re-opening of its food hall with social distancing measures put in place.
Meave Wall, stores director at Selfridges, said: “We are really encouraged by the reaction of local residents and the community to the re-opening of our food hall, Today’s guidelines provide helpful clarity for colleagues and customers as we continue to adapt our services to maintain public safety. Collectively adopting a consistent approach across the West End will help us all adopt the habits to keep each other safe over the coming months.”
New West End Company represents 600 businesses across the Bond Street, Oxford Street and Regent Street areas.
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