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Coes prepares to welcome shoppers back

PUBLISHED: 18:30 04 June 2020 | UPDATED: 10:21 05 June 2020

Masks, gloves and protective glasses are worn whilst making alterations to clothing  Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

Masks, gloves and protective glasses are worn whilst making alterations to clothing Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

Charlotte Bond

One of Suffolk’s best known independent retailers, Coes, has revealed what measures it has put in place ahead of its re-opening - while exploring virtual shopping options using Zoom and Facetime for those shielding.

Coes department store prepare to reopen, as they set up social distancing measures in store  Picture: CHARLOTTE BONDCoes department store prepare to reopen, as they set up social distancing measures in store Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

From a new one-way system to social distancing markers, staff have been working hard to ensure the store in Ipswich can re-open on June 16.

Customers will be asked to enter the store from the car park and exit through the Norwich Road entrance to help ensure the flow of shoppers.

Stairs will also be one-way only and shoppers will be discouraged from using lifts unless they need them.

Marketing manager Fiona Coe said a lot of changes had been made to help protect staff and shoppers.

Coes department store prepare to reopen, as they set up social distancing measures in store  Picture: CHARLOTTE BONDCoes department store prepare to reopen, as they set up social distancing measures in store Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

“We have gone around the whole of the shop and reconfigured our fixtures and fittings,” said Mrs Coe.

“When people come in they will be greeted by a member of staff and asked if they want to use hand sanitiser.

“We are offering face coverings and gloves to all our staff.”

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Customers will still be able to try on clothes in store but all items not purchased after being tried on will be removed from sale for 72 hours before they are put back out again.

“Our fitting rooms will be open but they will be cleaned after every customer comes in,” said Mrs Coe.

In line with Government guidance the store will also be limiting the number of people allowed inside the shop at any one time.

Each department within the store has its own quota and will be closely monitoring the amount of people allowed in.

Coes department store prepare to reopen, as they set up social distancing measures in store  Picture: CHARLOTTE BONDCoes department store prepare to reopen, as they set up social distancing measures in store Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

In particular, the shop believes the school uniform and sportswear sections will prove most popular and an appointment system has been set up for those looking to purchase school wear from the store for the new academic year.

Mrs Coe said they were still be looking at other ways to help shoppers who aren’t ready to come back, including through deliveries and virtual shopping on Zoom or Facetime.

In the meantime, Mrs Coe said the store was looking forward to welcoming customers back.

“The hardest thing from our point of view is the uncertainty,” said Mrs Coe.

“Our main message would be to reassure people we will do everything we possibly can to keep them safe.”


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