The coronavirus threw the high street into lockdown in March, with fashion retailers having to close their doors as they were deemed non-essential. However, as the lockdown rules ease and businesses look to get back up and running, some stores are making plans for reopening in June. Marks and Spencer is reportedly ready to reopen clothing space as soon as the government gives them the go-ahead.
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Marks and Spencer has kept its food halls open during the crisis, as well as offering online food deliveries for customers who are staying at home.
However, there are almost 300 open stores that also sell clothing – but these areas have been blocked off to customers.
The fashion giant has reportedly said that it is ready to open the spaces back up as soon as they get the green light.
In a statement, M&S said: “We are working towards reopening more space from June.”
The company said it’s well equipped to make sure the shopping experience is safe for customers once clothing stores are allowed to reopen.
“Our 290 stores that sell both clothing and food are led by a single manager – so it means they already have a brilliant working knowledge of the necessary hygiene measures, how to manage social distancing and the flow of our customers in and out of their store,” a Marks and Spencer spokesperson commented.
It follows the news that the chain was reopening 49 cafes for takeaway last week.
The store trialled the service in five of its locations before deciding to roll it out in sites that had a cafe next to the food hall area.
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Fashion retail has taken a hit over recent months in what’s been dubbed a “lost season” for clothing companies.
It’s reported that M&S is making plans to deal with its excess stock from the spring season, which is worth millions of pounds.
As many other companies face administration due to the coronavirus lockdown, the brand will be forced to come up with ways to make up for the loss of sales.
M&S is said to be in talks to “hibernate” the stock until next year, saving this year’s range in warehouses and selling it in 2021 instead.
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The unprecedented move would see the company recycle this year’s stock of fashion basics and neutral staples such as office wear for next year’s line.
Rival retailer Next is said to be planning a similar strategy in a bid to reduce its losses.
However, it’s predicted many stores will reopen with huge discounts and sales in order to get rid of the excess stock – as warehouse space costs businesses too.
Experts have been suggesting that customers could be lured back to the high street with massive savings, with Topshop, Miss Selfridge and French Connection already offering up to 50 percent off.
M&S has also launched a huge sale online, ahead of the lockdown rules being lifted to allow its clothing sections to reopen in store.
The “Rainbow Sale” has massive savings with at least 50 percent off its clothing range.
The company is donating 10 percent of all sale purchases to NHS Charities Together, in order to support the key workers getting the UK through the crisis.
Prices start from as little as £5 in the women’s clothing sale, but offers are also available for men’s and kid’s ranges too.
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