MARKS & Spencer stores will reopen stores selling clothing and homeware on Monday as non-essential business reopens.
Retail sectors were this week given the go ahead to reopen from Monday but that means some changes in-store at any non-food M&S shops.
M&S, like many other retailers will be making changes to the in-store shopping experience that we wouldn’t have seen prior to the pandemic.
Food-Halls have been allowed to stay open during lockdown as they were considered essential but the retailer decided to close off sections that were primarily non-essential.
But new rules coming into play on Monday mean shoppers can use the whole store and its facilities.
But the retailer has said they are set to permanently keep some lockdown rules in place, like a friendly colleague greeter at the door.
Here are five new changes shoppers can expect next week:
1. Contact-free bra fitting
Shops are allowed to reopen fitting rooms from next week, although many, including M&S, have said they will remain closed.
But it will be offering a contact-free bra fitting service at 250 branches that sell lingerie.
Customers will be able to book appointments for “no contact” fittings and a member of staff will advise shoppers on how to measure themselves.
Alternatively, they can book a virtual appointment where an M&S expert will talk you through the fitting without you have to trek out to the shops.
2. Click & Collect
M&S will introduce a cut off of 8pm for free next day collection on online orders and this is available at over 800 stores.
The retailer is also trialling the new express collection and digital check-in at around 20 stores to make collecting orders even easier for customers.
You can use the store’s locator tool to find out where your closest is to make a collection or see if they are practicing the new trials.
3. M&S cafés will open for takeaway
Nearly 100 M&S Cafes will reopen for takeaway and 14 branches will offer outdoor seating in line with government guidelines.
You won’t be able to sit inside to enjoy your coffee or sandwich until May 17 when lockdown restrictions are due to be eased further.
4. Browse homeware from your sofa
Homeware items will now be available to browse via video appointment, much like the underwear fittings with a specialist colleagues.
The trial will be taking place in-store at M&S White City, one of its five digital trials stores.
The hope is to inform shoppers of the products before they head out to the store.
5. Scan and shop with your phone
The M&S app has seen some popularity during the pandemic and over one million transactions have taken place via its Mobile Pay Go digital shopping option.
They rolled this out from a small trial to all foodhalls in 2020 and the success means it’s stuck.
Now M&S is rebranding the scheme and bringing together all of its digital store shopping options under the Scan and Shop banner, making it easy for customers to shop using their phone.
This means less queues to stand in and a quicker way to pay.
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The store has introduced all new clothing ranges ready for the summer season and just in time to pick up in-store too.
Check out the full list of shops reopening on Monday, including Primark and John Lewis.