Thousands of Ikea buyers are lining up for up to three hours to enter stores this morning after the Swedish furniture giant reopens 19 stores.
Images of stores across the country show lines of customers lining up around the store car parks, with some buyers arriving as early as 5:30 a.m.
Some Ikea buyers said they had to wait up to three hours to enter the Warrington branch in Cheshire, according to the Liverpool Echo.
Customers also had to wait 30 minutes in their vehicles just to enter the store parking lots.
Elsewhere, a customer described how the queues to enter the Reading branch occupied three parking levels.
In some stores, customers are separated by metal barriers and administrative formalities.
In addition to queuing outside, buyers are also queuing in indoor parking spaces.
Tweeting a picture of the scene at their local branch, the customer said, “Three floors of queue parking in Reading. “
Another buyer tweeted, “Just at Ikea in Warrington, he was told 30 minutes to queue to enter the parking lot, then 2 hours to wait to enter the store. Apparently about 1,000 people are waiting. “
A third Ikea fan said, “Queue for Ikea Leeds [looks] horrible. Must be 1,000 people here. If you haven’t started yet, I wouldn’t mind. “
Another tweeted, “Ikea Belfast reopened today. Apparently, the queue can be seen from space. “
Meanwhile, this customer said, “I’m pretty desperate for some things from Ikea, but learning that people have been queuing up at my house since 5:30 am makes me very glad I didn’t brave it today. “
The reopening of Ikea comes after the government eased restrictions on household goods retailers and garden centers.
Other stores that have already reopened in the UK include Dunelm, DFS and Matalan. In addition, car showrooms and outdoor markets have been allowed to reopen from today.
Buyers visiting recently reopened Ikea stores will have to follow strict social distancing measures, and Ikea will only allow one adult and one child per household at a time.
Which Ikea stores have reopened?
THE following Ikea stores have reopened today:
- Edge of the lake
- Milton Keynes
Playgrounds and restaurants will remain closed, but customers will still be able to purchase food, including Ikea’s popular meatballs, at food courts.
The bosses said they were aiming to limit the number of customers through a staggered entry system and asked buyers to “prepare with ready-made lists and their own bags”.
Additional hand sanitizer and deeper cleaning of bags, carts, bathrooms, equipment and touch screens will take place.
Click and Collect facilities are also available starting today.
Due to separate foreclosure measures, stores in Scotland, Wales and the Republic of Ireland will however remain closed for shipping.
Ikea has 22 stores in the UK, three order and collection points and two planning studios in London.
The planning studios and the order and collection points have yet to reopen.
Ikea temporarily closed its stores on March 22, in accordance with government foreclosure restrictions.
An Ikea spokesperson told The Sun, “We are very pleased to welcome our customers and colleagues to our stores today.
“Their health and safety remains our top priority, which is why we have implemented extensive and improved measures to create a safe and comfortable experience.
“While we understand that it is frustrating for customers to face delays due to these measures, they are in place for everyone’s safety, and we are grateful for the patience in respecting them. “
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Meanwhile, the images show car showrooms and outdoor markets open for the first time since the lockdown.
The images show market workers wearing masks, while car showrooms have been fitted with plastic screens in offices to help keep staff safe.
The new measures mean that buyers will be able to visit their local market and buy a new car.