Four QD discount stores set to reopen as part of trial
PUBLISHED: 15:43 12 May 2020 | UPDATED: 15:43 12 May 2020
A family-owned discount retailer is set to reopen one of its Suffolk stores on Wednesday, May 13.
QD is staging the reopening of its sites following the coronavirus lockdown, with its Hadleigh store one of four to reopen as part of a trial.
It will be joined by stores in Dereham, Melton Mowbray and Peterborough, but its usual opening hours will be reduced from 8am to 9pm to 9am to 5.30pm for now.
MORE – Four garden centres announce reopening across Norfolk and Suffolk
Other stores, such as in Stowmarket, Lowestoft, Halstead, Clacton, Halstead, Sudbury, Newmarket and Saffron Walden remain closed for the time being.
The Hadleigh store is currently putting in measures to ensure strict social distancing, so that customers can circulate safely. QD, which sells a wide range of food, pet and convenience items, as well as homewares, household and garden items, is classed as an essential retailer, and has been monitoring when it would be appropriate to allow customers to return.
Group operations director Karl Ottolangui said: “We are delighted to be able to reopen on Wednesday and welcome our customers back. This is part of a trial re-opening of some of our larger stores, ahead of any re-opening of other outlets across the country.
“Regardless of QD being classified as an essential retailer, we closed at the end of March for the wellbeing of our staff and customers and have been considering when it would appropriate and safe to re-open.
You may also want to watch:
“We have been carefully studying how other essential retailers have handled social distancing to allow them to reopen while keeping staff and customers safe.
“As a result, we have put in place measures that follow best practice and the advice of the government and the British Retail Consortium.
“This does mean that we must strictly limit how many customers can be in the store at any one time, so customers may need to queue before coming in.”
QD has set up a designated queuing area outside the entrance, with markers placed at 2m intervals and 2m floor markers inside. All checkouts are provided with protective plastic screens.
QD donated perishable goods to the Hadleigh Food Bank, Ferndell Housing, Canterbury Garden Care Home and Magdalen Care Home when it closed the store in March.
Kay Brown, manager at QD in Hadleigh, said: “All of the team here at QD are very excited to be back and serving our customers again. We are ensuring our shelves are fully stocked and looking forward to being able to supply all our customers’ needs.
“However, for the safety of our customers and staff, we do ask you to bear with us if you have to queue, and obey the social distancing procedures we have in place, as we are limiting the number of customers in the centre at any one time.
“We are providing cleaning stations for our trolleys, encouraging contactless or card payments and asking customers to shop alone if at all possible.”
If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the East Anglian Daily Times. Click the link in the orange box below for details.