The new normal at Metrocentre and Eldon Square
We find out what stores are now open and the safety measures that will be in place as our favourite shopping centres start to open up again.
By Laura Kingston
intu Eldon Square and intu Metrocentre have released more information on the safety measures in place as non-essential retail stores begin to re-open from 15 June.
A task force of experts has created detailed and adaptable plans, with common principles across all centres to ensure they are Covid-secure locations. intu Eldon Square and intu Metrocentre have adapted their existing footfall-monitoring technology so that its frontline teams can accurately monitor and manage the number of people in the centres at any time. It will manage queues outside the centre when capacity is reached and there will be a raft of other measures including one-way systems, floor stickers and queues outside stores to ensure visitors stay socially distanced once inside.
Enhanced hygiene regimes that were introduced at the start of the outbreak will continue, with more frequent deep cleaning of key areas and touchpoints like escalators, toilets and keypads. These measures have remained in place whilst the centres provided access to essential services like pharmacies, supermarkets and banks during the lockdown period. Hand sanitation stands will also remain at entrances and other locations throughout each centre for visitors to use during their visit.
Research released by intu last week shows that over 70% of regular shopping centre visitors would actively encourage compulsory hand sanitation, protective screens at tills, limitations on the numbers able to enter stores at any one time, and 2m distance markers. Over 60% would actively encourage in-store security and CCTV or other technology to control crowds, cashless stores, and would be happy with an average wait time of 10 mins for store entry, to allow for safety.
Matthew Roberts, chief executive of intu, said: “We are looking forward to welcoming more visitors back to intu Eldon Square and intu Metrocentre and our other centres from 15 June in line with Government guidance. Our centres have and will always be at the heart of their local communities. intu supports around 3% of all retail jobs in the UK and our centres are home to some of the biggest and best brands, so we are doing everything we can to make them safe places to visit and work.
“We know we cannot do this alone and everyone who visits our centres whether for work or to shop will play their part in keeping themselves and each other safe by following the official guidelines, and the instructions and safety information provided by our teams.
“Whilst the experience for everyone that visits intu Eldon Square and intu Metrocentre will be different to normal, our teams will be on hand to deliver that warm welcome our centres have become known for.”
Apple, Lush and TopShop are among stores to be opening at intu Eldon Square from Monday 15 June.