Birmingham shopping centres welcoming back customers

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Birmingham’s three largest shopping centres are welcoming customers back today.

Bullring, Grand Central and Mailbox are all reopening their doors for the first time since the end of March although “essential” stores such as Boots and Tesco have remained open at the destinations throughout the lockdown.

Hammerson, which co-owns and manages both Bullring and Grand Central, said certain restaurants at the two centres would be operating a takeaway and delivery service only while they awaited further guidance on allowing dine-in customers.

The property group said it had used independent inspection organisation Bureau Veritas to analyse and approve its reopening plans in order to reassure retailers and consumers of its approach and procedures.

Among the safety measures in operation at the two centres are one-way systems and signage reminding customers about social distancing and to avoid shopping in large groups.

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Hammerson added there would also be enhanced cleaning, with a focus on key customer touch points, live monitoring of footfall to ensure there were not too many people in the centres at any one time and fixed hand sanitiser stations.

There will also be queuing outside Bullring and Grand Central when required while customer-facing staff will wear protective clothing.

Moor Street and Centre car parks will be open but customers are advised to check the Bullring website for details about other car parks including Edgbaston Street.

Stephanie Lacey, general manager at Bullring and Grand Central, said: “It has been a really challenging time for everyone and we are hugely grateful to the key workers that have done so much over the past few months.

“We ask that people be patient with us though as the way we shop is going to be different for a while and visits might take longer than usual.”

High-end mall the Mailbox is also reopening today although parts of the centre, such as offices and the home of BBC Midlands, have remained open during the lockdown.

David Pardoe, head of marketing, retail and tenant engagement, said: “In line with the phased approach that many national retailers are taking, our stores will be opening gradually over the coming weeks.

“We have been working closely with our retailers to ensure we can support them in the safe reopening of their stores by introducing these important changes.

“Our team is committed to creating a safe environment for all of our visitors alongside everyone who lives and works here and we’re looking forward to welcoming shoppers back to the Mailbox over the weeks ahead.”

Among the stores reopening from today are Boss, Calvin Klein, Castle Fine Art, Ribble Cycles and Sofas & Stuff.

Wedding Club is due to open tomorrow and BoConcept on Thursday while the Paul Smith store is planning to welcome back customers from July 7.


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