IKEA reopens in Greater Manchester to new rules and huge queues

Simon Crabtree / Twitter

IKEA has reopened several UK stores to the public today with strict new rules in place to ensure staff and shopper safety.

A total of 19 of IKEA branches in the UK & Ireland, including Manchester and Warrington, have opened doors today after the Swedish furniture giant made the decision to temporarily close all stores amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic back on 20th March.

A formal statement by the company released at the time of the closures read: “IKEA UK & Ireland today announced that, as a precautionary measure against the ongoing risk of COVID-19, it will temporarily close its stores to customers at 6pm on Friday 20 March.”

Photos showing huge queues of customers snaking around the car parks of both the Warrington and Ashton-under-Lyne branches began emerging on social media this morning in preparation for a 10am opening.

IKEA says it will be re-opening stores with reduced opening hours for the time being and the opening hours will be as follows:

Monday – Saturday: 10am-8pm
Sunday: 11am-5pm

The retailer has also confirmed that a number of health and safety procedures have been put in place and has issued guidance for shoppers ahead of their trip. As well as putting social distancing markers around stores and installing perspex screens at till points, it will also be asking shoppers to visit alone where possible in order to minimise numbers.

If you are looking to make a trip to IKEA this week, here is what you can expect:

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Additional Cleaning & Safety Precautions

Speaking on this ahead of reopening, IKEA has issued a statement reading: “As you might expect, we’ll be doing extra scrubbing, cleaning, and sterilising to make the whole store as safe as possible for you. “

“Hand sanitisers will be stationed throughout the store, as will new protective screens at key points such as checkouts.​”

“We recommend you come prepared with ready-made lists and your own bags.”

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Cards & Contactless Payment

IKEA will only be accepting cashless payments, either via card or contactless payment devices, in order to “reduce the amount of contact between you and our co-workers.”

It has also confirmed that it has “installed safety screens at key points across the store including checkouts to provide extra protection” for staff and shoppers.

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Social Distancing Measures

IKEA has issued detailed social distancing guidelines and is asking that all shoppers strongly adhere to these measures when in store.

“To ensure a safe shopping experience we ask that if you can, please shop alone. Only bring one other person from the same household, if you need special assistance or if you need to bring your children with you.”

“There will be a queuing system outside to manage entry into the store.​”

“We’ll have co-workers and signage throughout the store to help you stick to social distancing guidelines.”

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