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‘Robust’ measures in place as M&S prepares to reopen its clothing stores

PUBLISHED: 17:20 08 June 2020 | UPDATED: 08:02 09 June 2020

Marks & Spencer in Ipswich town centre will be among the clothing stores reopening on June 15 - but some fitting services will be curtailed   Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Marks & Spencer in Ipswich town centre will be among the clothing stores reopening on June 15 - but some fitting services will be curtailed Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Archant

Marks and Spencer clothing stores across Suffolk, Norfolk and north Essex are set to reopen on Monday, June 15.

Signage for Marks & Spencer's clothing stories as they reopen  Picture: M&SSignage for Marks & Spencer's clothing stories as they reopen Picture: M&S

Stores including those at Ipswich town centre, Ipswich Martlesham, Norwich, Colchester, Lowestoft and Bury St Edmunds will be allowing customers into the clothing areas for the first time since the coronavirus lockdown.

M&S food stores and food areas within stores have remained opened, and the retail giant will be using its experience of that to help adjust to the new rules on social distancing.

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“Over the past nine weeks, M&S has run nearly 600 food stores and so has extensive knowledge to help it operate its clothing business,” a company spokeswoman said.

M&S has 260 stores which combine clothing and food.

“These are led by a single manager so it means they and their team already have a brilliant working knowledge of the necessary hygiene measures to keep everyone well and how to manage social distancing and the flow of customers in and out of their store,” she said.

Customers can expect the same “robust measures” as when they have shopped for food, she added.

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Staff will be on hand to manage customer flow and maintain social distancing – which may mean a short queue, the chain said.

Hand sanitiser will available and shopping baskets will be metal to make it easier to clean them regularly.

There will also be “shop safely” signage through the stores.

But all “close-contact” services will remain closed temporarily, including bra fittings, suit fittings and kidswear footwear fittings.

The retailer said it has enhanced its website bra fit tool, and staff will be on hand to give advice.

Cafes are set to remain closed to sit in, but selected stores – including the Martlesham Heath store – will offer coffee to go with a contactless collection system.

Tills will have perspex screens and encourage contactless payment.

Fitting rooms will stay closed but for now M&S’s refund policy will remain at 90 days.

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