I am writing to update you on our plans to keep you and our colleagues safe as we start reopening Argos stores.
Following government advice, we have been reopening Argos stores on high streets and retail parks in the Republic of Ireland since 18th May and in Northern Ireland since 8th June. We have learnt a lot from these stores about how customers want to shop with us and we will keep listening to customer feedback as we start to open more stores.
The government confirmed earlier this week that non-essential retailers can open in England from next Monday 15th June. We closed all standalone Argos stores in March and Argos has been an online-only retailer for the past three months. Thank you for being so flexible and for sticking with us and shopping in different ways.
Our business has changed enormously over the last three months and we want to be very careful as we move to the next phase. We know that lots of customers are enjoying the convenience of shopping with us online or collecting in Sainsbury’s and many customers prefer to shop this way, rather than visiting a store. We are therefore planning a phased reopening of our shops and we will have 145 standalone Argos stores open on Monday. We have chosen this first phase of stores based on where customers can not currently easily access an Argos store in a Sainsbury’s supermarket – and so we hope that most customers will have an Argos store open near them from Monday. For more details on your nearest store, please visit the Store Locator page on our website on Monday 15th June.
Safety is our absolute priority and our colleagues have been working hard to get everything ready and to make sure you can shop with us safely. All Argos stores will continue to work on a click and collect basis for the time being. We hope to reintroduce shopping in stores in the coming weeks, but until then you will need to order your items before you arrive at the store. There might be a queue to get into the store as we will be limiting the number of customers allowed in store at any one time. Our colleagues will be on hand to make sure we have a safe number of people inside the store and to help with social distancing while queuing. All stores will have perspex safety screens at the tills and our colleagues will be following social distancing guidelines at all times, including when they collect items from the warehouse and bring them to the collection counter. This might mean it takes them a little longer than usual to serve you – please bear with them, they are doing everything they can to help you in these exceptional circumstances.
I appreciate some of these changes may be inconvenient for you and you might be disappointed if your local Argos store is not ready to reopen on Monday 15thJune. I am sorry for this but please know that our colleagues are doing everything they can to get the right measures in place to ensure everyone stays safe and can shop with us in the ways they want to. I know life is going to be different for all of us for some time but we are committed to adapting and changing our business to make sure we are serving you as best we can.
Simon Roberts, Chief Executive