Jun 19, 2020
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John Lewis to reopen Peter Jones next week, indies also to take slow approach

Jun 19, 2020

While a large number of retailers opened most or all of their shops this week, many continue to take a more cautious approach, including both big names and smaller independents. 

Photo: Sandra Halliday

John Lewis has confirmed the opening date for one of its central London flagships with Peter Jones in Sloane Square set to reopen on Thursday next week. 

The company still hasn't given a date for the reopening of its Oxford Street site. With tourist and local worker traffic still tiny in one of Europe's premier shopping districts, it's no surprise that many major names are still closed along Oxford Street, Regent Street and Bond Street.

As more retailers are able to open in the UK, with Scottish stores reopening on June 29 and Welsh stores starting to reopen from Monday, John Lewis is opening a further nine of its department stores on June 25 having opened 13 of them in the week beginning June 15.

Those set to start their comebacks in the week ahead, as well as Peter Jones, are Cribbs Causeway in Bristol, Leeds, Liverpool, Milton Keynes, Newcastle, Southampton, Tunbridge Wells and York.

Meanwhile, at the other end of the size scale, The Camden watch Company said it would reopen its Camden flagship on June 27 but its Shoreditch and Greenwich stores will remain closed for now.

The British design brand, founded by wife and husband team Anneke Short and Jerome Robert, is located in Camden Stables Market. The "soft reopen” will be weekends-only from noon to 5pm at the moment with more days added during July. All staff will be wearing masks as well as gloves to be changed throughout the day. Customers can only enter the store if they are wearing masks and they must sanitise their hands before entering. UV sterilisers will be used on all timepieces handled by customers. 

It said that online sales have continued, but “the shops are the heart and soul of the brand”.

Anneke Short said: “It has been a difficult time for retailers, particularly independents. We have been lucky to have continued sales online, but we are both excited and honestly nervous about getting the doors open to the store. We have decided to take a slow approach by only opening on the weekends and will add more days as we see how foot traffic builds.” 

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