Jack Quann
Jack Quann

14.52 15 Jun 2020


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Shopping centres have re-opened their doors across the country after being shut for three months because of COVID-19.

The Government brought forward their opening date, which was originally meant to be in August.

Staff arrived early at the Dundrum Town Centre in Dublin sweeping floors and washing windows, as they prepared to open after three months shut.

These shoppers arrived before shutters opened hoping to find a bargain.

"Today's actually the first day I've taken annual leave in about four months," one man said.

"They're closing House of Fraser soon, so we just want to check what they have", a woman added.

While another woman said: "It's scary to be here first".

Customers are encouraged to check its website for information on specific brands’ opening times before they visit.

While certain restaurant brands will to be available for takeaway and delivery.

There are a range of measures to keep everyone safe.

These include a one-way system to help customers safely navigate the centre, clear signage throughout on social distancing guidance, to avoid shopping in large groups and fixed hand sanitiser stations.

Customers are also being encouraged to wear face coverings.

There is also an enhanced cleaning processes, with a focus on key customer touch points.

Centre management says it is live monitoring footfall, to ensure there are not too many people in the centre at any one time.

People will also have to queue outside the centre, when required, to manage capacity.

Customers are being encouraged to use contactless payment for their transactions.

There are also no benches and the fountains have been turned off to discourage browsing.

Don Nugent, centre director at Dundrum, said: "It's a bit like opening a brand new centre again - we've been closed for three months, so lots of excitement.

"It's great to see some familiar faces.

"It's a pity about the three months, but we're here now, it's much better than August and we're really looking forward to welcoming our customers back".

"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."

100 out of 160 stores at Dundrum have re-opened - Louis Copeland is one of them.

He said: "It's very important because it's one of our flagship stores, so hopefully it'll go well today - we have to wait and see".

Dundrum Town Centre usually has 18 million visits a year and it is hoped after a tough three months for the retail sector that shops can regain sales.

Additional reporting: Stephanie Rohan

Main image: Shoppers wearing masks and protective gear on walkways and escalators in the Dundrum Town Centre in Dublin in March 2020. Photograph: RollingNews.ie

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