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Long queues form at John Lewis on first day of reopening

John Lewis reopened today, July 30, in Peterborough – and loyal customers were eagerly waiting to get inside the department store.
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People were eagerly waiting to get in John Lewis before 10am (photo: Carly Beech)

The fate of John Lewis was up in the air after they failed to reopen on June 15 when many other chains opened across the UK, with many people concerned about its future.

However upon reopening this morning, the newly-renovated retail store welcomed dozens of customers back in as queues backed up onto Westgate. 

All wearing face coverings, people were eagerly waiting to get back into the shop months after it closed. 

Although the store will be limiting the number of people inside, it's likely to still be a large quantity due to the size of the shop, so any long queue shouldn't keep customers waiting hours. 

With hand sanitisers placed at the entrance, and access only available from the bottom floor, they should be able to control how many people enter at any given time. 

The vast majority of Queensgate stores have reopened and welcomed customers back in over a slow process since June 15. 

On July 9, the John Lewis Partnership announced that it would not reopen eight John Lewis stores in order to secure the business's long-term future. The shops to be closed include travel hubs at Heathrow and St Pancras, four At Home shops in Croydon, Newbury, Swindon and Tamworth and two full-size department stores in Birmingham and Watford.

These eight shops were already financially challenged prior to the pandemic. The switch from in-store to online shopping has been accelerated due to the outbreak, with a prediction that between 60% and 70% of total sales this year and next will be via the internet.