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Some fitting rooms to remain closed as fashion chains prepare to reopen in England | Retail business




Buyers in England will finally be able to try on jeans, bras, suits and other clothing requiring the perfect fit from Monday, when several large-scale retail chains reopen dressing rooms for the first time in a year.

John Lewis, H&M and River Island will reopen at least some of their dressing rooms when fashion stores open next week as part of the next step in easing the government’s coronavirus lockdown guidelines.

Next has said it is undecided whether to reopen its changing rooms, while Marks & Spencer and Primark have both said they will not do so next week. M&S, however, said shoppers could make contactless bra fitting appointments in stores, where a staff member will advise customers on how to measure themselves.

Some retailers balk at new dressing room reopening requirements, which include regular cleaning, breaks between use of cubicles, and ensuring doors and curtains stay open when not in use.

Services such as changing rooms are considered essential for stores trying to compete with competitors online.

Pippa Wicks, department store boss John Lewis, said she will also be restarting children’s shoe assembly, personal styling and home design appointments and collecting online store orders.

We’re excited to open up must-have services and help customers choose the most difficult items to buy online, from the perfect mattress to road testing the right pram or finding the right pair of jeans, said Wicks.

Since March of last year, stores have been told that dressing rooms should be closed where possible due to difficulties in operating them safely.

The guidelines state that parts should be cleaned between each use and that clothes that have been tried on should be steamed or set aside for several days to prevent the spread of germs.

Only a few retailers, including the Selfridges department store, operated their locker rooms last year, due to advice and the high costs of quarantining or disinfecting clothing and changing rooms.

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The guidelines have now been changed so that retailers can operate dressing rooms if they minimize the transmission of the virus. Chambers should always be cleaned frequently, but not necessarily between each use, and there should be measures in place to manage clothing, including providing hand sanitizer for those trying on items and not passing them between them. customers and staff.

The government is also stipulating that only one person at a time should be allowed in dressing rooms, with staff in place to manage social distancing and queues.

The guidelines state that an interval of several minutes should be left between an outgoing customer and the next in, and that vacant dressing room doors or curtains should be left open, whenever possible, to increase ventilation.

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