Fashion, food and phone retailers amongst those welcoming customers again
As society begins its gradual return to normality, many stores and markets are allowed to reopen today (Monday 15th June) provided they adhere to social distancing measures. Fashion, food and phone shops are amongst those welcoming customers in what is set to be a shopping experience much changed.
Encouraging shoppers to take a ‘safety-first’ approach, Manchester City Council has introduced measures including uninformed marshals and pavement widening to facilitate the two-metre rule; as well as pedestrianising part of Deansgate and Thomas Street in the Northern Quarter. There will also be reduced capacity on public transport (on which face masks will be required), as well as hand sanitising stations and street signage. Shopping centres such as the Arndale, meanwhile, will be operating a one-way system.
It’s been a tough time for shops, some of which were already struggling on a high street increasingly threatened by online shopping habits. Weeks of forced closure, followed by the current social distancing protocol - necessitating reduced capacity and a further blow to profit margins - mean some will remain closed for the foreseeable…and perhaps forever. Oasis, Warehouse and Cath Kidston are amongst the chains that won’t be returning.
Many retailers are braving the coronavirus storm and opening this week, however: business growth company CityCo has produced a handy list covering the city centre while shopping centres including the Arndale, Trafford Centre and Quayside MediaCity have their own.
Independents venues opening this week, meanwhile, span Chorlton Bookshop (16th June) to Saul Hay Gallery (17th June) and Afflecks (20th June); with such disparate reopening dates, and many still shut, customers are advised to check with stores directly.
It’s been no less of a difficult time for market traders, whose livelihoods have been placed on hold and who now must contend with the economic consequences of social distancing - leading Levenshulme Market and GRUB to ask the council for support (read more in our article).
Manchester City Council is opening its markets in a phased approach, starting with Arndale Food Market on Monday 15th June. Other markets reopening include Radcliffe (16th June), Levenshulme (27th June) and Hatch (18th June) - the latter as click and collect or delivery for now - while Altrincham is again hosting non-food traders, alongside its takeaway menu service, despite giving around 100 staff members redundancy notice. Regional pop-up markets now reopened include The Market Co and The Makers Market.
What can reopen from 15th June?
- Food retailers
- Hardware/homeware stores
- Fashion shops
- Photography studios
- Charity shops
- Betting shops and arcades
- Tailors, dress fitters and fashion designers
- Mobile phone stores
- Indoor and outdoor markets
- Craft fairs
- Safari parks
- Betting shops
- Outdoor cinemas
- Car dealerships
- Auction houses
- Antique stores
- Retail art galleries
- Gift shops and retail spaces in theatres, museums, libraries, heritage sites and tourism sites
To keep up to date with what’s reopening near you, visit welcomebackmanchester.com or check your local council website