‘All systems go but with caution’: Jarrold gets store ready for reopening
- Credit: Archant
Norwich department store Jarrold with have a maximum of 180 shoppers at a time when it reopens on Monday, June 15.
Chief executive Minnie Moll revealed the limit as she outlined plans for when the doors are flung open next week.
And although there will be no special celebration to mark the reopening, she said they were planning some “entertainment” for people queuing outside.
On Monday, a small team of staff were in the store including trading director John Adams, who was on his hands and knees putting safety signs on the floors.
Other people were doing non coronavirus-related tasks such as dressing the windows with new stock. Perspex screens are installed at tills and Jarrold will focus on summer fashion for most of its displays with its big sale coming in a few weeks’ time.
Deli items including its famous scones will be for sale and takeway coffees but all restaurants and cafes have to remain closed.
About one-quarter of the 400 workforce are being brought back from furlough for the reopening and Ms Moll said it depended just how trade went on whether more would be. But she said no decisions had been taken to lose any jobs.
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“Nothing has been agreed on that, my key thing is to get open, and see how trade is. My job as CEO is to make the business feel confident but with a big dollop of pragmatism and realism. We have lost huge amounts of revenue by being closed for 12 weeks and we don’t know what the trade is going to be and our colleagues know that.
“It’s all systems go but with caution because this pandemic has absolutely blindsided all of us and it’s about being flexible and adapting as each day comes.”
There will be markers on the pavement outside Jarrold for those needing to queue. Other measures include staff having their temperatures checked before working, with all those unfurloughed going in on Friday to see the store and be ready for Monday’s reopening. Staff will be monitoring numbers of shoppers in any particular area of the store with sections cordoned off if there are too many.
One benefit of the forced store closure has been the increase in online sales – so much so that the retailer has spent around £10,000 on extending facilities by upgrading its current old dispatch and postroom area.
The store opens from 10am-3pm with Ms Moll and fellow bosses all in store on Monday.
She said: “I’m optimistic customers will want to come and say hello but I feel for people if they have to be in a really big queue as it’s frustrating so we are hoping to lay on some entertainment.”
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