First look inside Primark with fewer tills, no testers and new contactless returns


WHEN Primark opens its doors again in England on Monday shoppers can expect to find fewer tills, lift queues and a new contactless returns process. 

HOAR had an exclusive first look inside its Kingston store as it prepares to reopen 153 branches with new Covid-secure measures. 

Shoppers will have to queue 2m apart outside of Primark stores

A member of staff will monitor queues outside and ensure shoppers enter and leave via the designated areas

It still looks like the Primark we love and know. Unlike supermarkets, shoppers won’t have to follow a one-way system as they can roam free once inside. 

But there are subtle changes which help make customers and staff safer, including hand sanitiser stations and signs and floor stickers reminding people to keep a 2m distance. 

Customers will be asked to sanitise their hands before they enter. 

New contactless return will include a rail at the checkout for customers to leave returned items

Shoppers will be told to sanitise their hands on entering stores


Once inside, fitting rooms will be closed

Clothing stores are allowed to reopen from Monday (June 15) as the government has confirmed it’s lifting lockdown measures on non-essential retailers – see the full list of stores allowed to reopen.

Most retailers closed on March 23, although they have been allowed to continue trading online.

But shops are only allowed to welcome shoppers back if they follow strict safety measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

The checkout area has been made bigger to allow for social distancing

Make-up products testers will also be unavailable

Shoppers can buy make-up but they won’t be able to test the shades

Primark, for example, has created bigger till areas and will only be using every other one. 

It has installed perspex screens and there will be a member of staff acting as a “queue marshall”. 

The retailer has also increased its contactless limit to £45 – but you can still pay in cash if you want to. 

Lifts will include stickers on the floor to ensure shoppers keep apart

Similar floor markers will also be in place at tills

When it comes to returning clothes it has a new contacless returns process. 

Customers will bring their items up to the till and show it to the member of staff who remains behind the till and screen. 

The customer will then hang the item on a rail at the checkout and Primark will hold the stock for 72 hours before it can be returned to the shop floor. 

The checkout staff can then process the refund as usual. 

Primark hasn’t removed any stock and there won’t be a one-way system

Perspex screens have been installed at tills to keep shoppers and staff safe

Primark has increased its contactless payment limit to £45 – but will still accept cash

Staff will also frequently clean items, such as shopping baskets

The changing rooms are closed and you won’t be allowed to try clothes on. 

Unlike other retailers Primark hasn’t extended its clothing policy as it remains at 28 days. 

There will be a maximum limit of two people per lift and increased cleaning at places where people touch more often, such as the escalator and lift buttons. 

Each basket will be sanitised by a member of staff between every use. 

Posters on walls will outline social distancing guidelines

Returns won’t go back onto the shop floor for 72 hours

In the beauty and make-up section you won’t find any testers. 

Like other shops there will be a limit on the number of customers allowed in. These will vary between stores. 

Although, there will be no limits on who you can shop with so you can go with the whole family if you want. 

The shop is keen to get back in business as the lockdown has caused a loss of around £640million worth of sales a month. 

But it won’t be discounting like many other shops who want to get rid of stock, instead it’s keeping clothes for next year. 

It’s going to be like the same old Primark – as long as you’re willing to brave the queues. 

For more behind the scenes stories on what retailers will look like after lockdown, check out how JD Sports is planning to reopen its 309 stores.

Coral, meanwhile, is planning to install sneeze screens inside its bookies.

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