Argos has announced plans to reopen 140 of its 700 standalone stores from 15 June.
While Argos concessions within Sainsbury’s supermarkets remained open during lockdown, for customers to collect their online orders, standalone stores temporarily closed on 23 March following the Government’s announcement that all ‘non-essential’ retail stores must close until advised otherwise. The decision to keep concessions open was met with a mixed response, with safety concerns raised by staff. But Argos has advised customers to only pick up items from its concessions when they are planning on doing essential food shopping at Sainsbury’s.
The retailer has said it wants to phase the reopening of its standalone shops, as stores readjust to the new social distancing restrictions.
Argos told The Sun that it had decided to reopen certain locations, as it knows there’s a demand for physical collection points.
Reopened shops will only carry out collections and returns to begin with.
The retailer said that it plans to use what it has learned from concessions as it reopens its standalone stores to help keep both staff and customers safe. And Argos is also looking to introduce Perspex screens in reopened branches.
A Sainsbury’s spokesperson said: “We are looking at what the government’s announcement around non-essential retailers possibly being able to open from June 15 in England means for our business.
“To ensure we get this right, we are preparing to open a first phase of around 140 standalone Argos stores to customers for collections and returns.
"Our colleagues will be working hard over the coming weeks to make sure robust social distancing and safety measures are in place.”