STORES have announced their plans for reopening in Worcester next month.

According to the Office for National Statistics, the volume of clothing sales in April 2020 fell by 50.2 per cent when compared with March 2020, which had already fallen by 34.9 per cent on the previous month.

As many stores shut their doors in the face of the coronavirus, the proportion spent online soared to the highest on record in April 2020 at 30.7 per cent, which compares with the 19.1 per cent reported in April 2019.

Marks and Spencer on the High Street has remained open during the coronavirus lockdown, however special measures are set to be put into place to enable more store space.


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A spokesman from Marks and Spencer said: “We are working towards re-opening more space from June. We have supported the Government on its safer workplace guidance and await further information on its re-phasing plans.

“We’ve been successfully operating social distancing in our stores for some time and we will take our learning from this as we reopen our clothing business.

“Our 290 stores that sell both clothing and food are led by a single manager – so it means they already have a brilliant working knowledge of the necessary hygiene measures, how to manage social distancing and the flow of our customers in and out of their store.”

The clothing and home retailer Next should reopen next month, if Boris Johnson “gives the green light.”

A spokesman for Next said the chain hasn’t announced what order individual stores will re-open.

A spokesman said: “We have plans in place for the re-purposing of our stores ready to re-open in a socially distanced world. Measures include screening of tills, distance marking walkways, sanitisation stations, exit and entry management systems and other measures.

“Much will depend on our ability to continue increasing the capacity of our online operations within the constraints of new safe working practices and on the timing of store re-openings.

“We anticipate that it will take some time for customers to return to their normal shopping habits and that sales will be very subdued when trade commences.

“The falloff in sales to date has been faster and steeper than anticipated in our March stress test and we are now modelling lower sales for both the first and second half of the year.”

The chain will prioritise the opening of larger out-of-town stores first due to the larger space provided so that social distancing measures will be implemented effectively.