Shoppers cause door smash at Nike store as High Streets reopens for business
Shoppers crowded into Nike’s flagship store in London, ignoring social distancing rules earlier in the day.
The Oxford Street store opened today for the first time in three months as coronavirus lockdown rules for the high street are eased.
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Around 400 shoppers lined up outside the store, ready for the 10 a.m. opening, before heading forward to be the first inside.
The crash prompted security to intervene and limit the number of people allowed in the store to groups of around 10 at a time.
Cops were called in to control the crowd, who were then seen chatting with patrons encouraging them to stand out.
Nike staff also took to the sidewalks to tell customers to social distance while waiting to be admitted to the sneaker store.
It comes as shoppers were pictured queuing outside stores including Primark and Sports Direct this morning, with some customers camping overnight to be the first through the doors.
‘Non-essential’ shops are allowed to reopen today as the high street finally comes back to life following the coronavirus shutdown.
Retailers had to implement a series of “Covid-19 secure” measures, including social distancing and limiting the number of shoppers allowed in stores at one time, before reopening to the public.
Shops risk being fined or closed if they break the rules.
At its Birmingham flagship store, Primark customers were seen queuing overnight to be at the front of the line, forcing the store to open early to keep up with demand.
The store was due to open at 8am but ended up letting shoppers in 35 minutes earlier at 7.25am, according to Birmingham Live, which reported how a superfan lined up from 4.30am to be the first inside.
Similar queues were also seen outside branches of Sports Direct, Nike, Next and John Lewis stores.
It comes as retailers including Debenhams and Zara slashed up to 70% to entice shoppers to start spending – despite Primark previously saying it would not be launching special sales or flash discounts.
Only high streets in England are reopening from today, – no date has been announced by the devolved government for when stores in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland will follow .
Changes customers can expect inside stores include fewer checkouts, no testers and new contactless returns.
Shoppers will also be banned from trying on clothes and encouraged to use hand sanitizer stations before entering stores.
A Nike spokesperson said: “The safety and well-being of our employees, consumers and communities is always our first priority.
“We have implemented extensive social distancing and health protocols for the coronavirus (COVID19) in all of our owned and operated stores.
“Outside our stores, we have hosts and security in addition to window signs, reminding consumers to please practice social distancing.
“In addition, we work in partnership with local councils to ensure that we follow local guidelines.”
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Brits tweeted about queues on their high street this morning, with some criticizing customers for not social distancing.
One person posted: ‘Queue outside Primark in town apparently started at 6am, store doesn’t open until 10am.’
Another said: “I’ve literally seen more people queuing for Primark than a Beyoncé concert.”
A third tweeted: “If you’re going up Primark can you bring me some socks, nice pajamas, jeans, nails, that good face powder and some of them nice face masks. The queue waiting is mental and I’m missing my 3 pounds of pampering.”
Tweeting about the queue of shoppers outside Niketown in Oxford Circus, London, one shopper said: “Good to see the queue also observing social distancing. No…”
Three of the five best-known stores are set to reopen today to give a boost to our Bounce Back Britain campaign to help people, communities and businesses get back on their feet.
The Sun has put together a comprehensive list of retailers you can buy from now.
Shops are in desperate need of a boost as shoppers return to the high street, with the lockdown costing them £1.8billion a week according to new data from the British Retail Consortium.
It comes as Chancellor Rishi Sunak is reportedly considering a temporary VAT cut to get Britain spending again.
The Times reports how the Treasury will make a decision once figures show whether buyers are spending again.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed that all “non-essential” retailers would be allowed to reopen on June 15 in a May 25 announcement.
Previously, only stores deemed “essential” were allowed to stay open during the Covid-19 lockdown – this included retailers selling food and medicine, as well as some hardware stores.
Household goods stores were given the green light to reopen on May 20, while outdoor markets and car showrooms were allowed to reopen on June 1.
“Non-essential” stores have been told to make their businesses “covid-secure” before reopening.
These include ensuring the NHS has the capacity to provide intensive care and specialist treatment, as well as ensuring a sustained and steady decline in daily deaths.
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