DIY retailer B&Q has fully reopened all 288 of its retail stores – despite the UK still being in lockdown.
The company has gradually opened the doors of its sites across the country, with its final two outlets reopening on Thursday after stores closed due to the COVID-19 lockdown introduced in March.
Customers have visited the stores in their droves, leading to long queues outside, due to the coronavirus social distancing measures put in place.
DIY stores have been listed as “essential” by the government, meaning they are allowed to remain open during the lockdown, but some people have been concerned over the impact of opening the stores – such as increased traffic.
Rival shops Wickes and Homebase have also begun to reopen their stores over the past few days, as retailers look to start recouping their losses.
B&Q said it is “strictly limiting the number of customers in store at any one time”, as well as introducing new safety measures, such as trolley sanitising stations.
Floors display markers signifying two metre gaps, while the now contactless-only checkouts have been fitted with Perspex screens to protect staff.
Graham Bell, chief executive officer of B&Q, said: “Our highest priority is to keep our colleagues safe at work and our customers safe while shopping.
“In all our stores, we have strict social distancing measures in place.
“Customers are adhering to these, helping us to offer a shopping environment that is safe for everyone, while we help them to look after their homes and gardens, as well as their wellbeing.
“Whether shopping in our stores or online, we continue to ask all our customers to follow the government’s social distancing guidelines and to shop responsibly only when they need to.”