Retail reopening FAQs
When will all shops re-open?
We will be opening our clothes shops and the Donation Centre from the w/c 15th June in four phases:
From 15th June:
- Hasland site re-opens (except for Clearance shop and coffee shop).
From 22nd June:
- Clowne, Dronfield, Rowsley and Alfreton retail shops reopen.
From 29th June:
- Matlock, Clay Cross, Chesterfield, Eckington, Bakewell, Shirebrook and Bolsover retail shops reopen.
From 6th July:
- Staveley shop reopens.
Our clearance shop and coffee shops will remain closed until further notice.
What are the opening times of the shops?
We will be opening our shops on restricted opening hours (10am to 4pm Monday – Saturday) to ensure that teams have an hour at the start and end of the day to clean and prepare our shops.
Will you be opening on Sundays?
Our shops will be closed on Sundays. However, we are planning to open on Sundays, but this will not be until August at the earliest.
Will the coffee shops be re-opening/offering a takeaway service?
We do not know yet the dates for the Ashgate Coffee Co shops reopening as we need further Government advice on this. However, we hope we will have all our shops including coffee shops open by the end of July. We will not be operating a takeaway service until our Ashgate Coffee Co shops are fully open.
Questions on keeping our staff, volunteers and the public safe
What measures are in place to keep staff, volunteers and customers safe?
We have followed the government “Working Safely during COVID-19 in shops and branches” checklist and will be completing a risk assessment with the Shop/Location Manager once they return to work to make sure that we are following all of the guidelines to keep everyone safe.
We have marked out our salesfloors to show customers, staff and volunteers how to keep a safe distance. We will also be displaying signage which shows customers how to shop and donate in our stores and will be repeating this message through the instore speakers.
We are in the process of installing screens around our tills and donation desks (see image below of our Hasland site). These will be installed to protect our staff, volunteers and customers and mean that our staff and volunteers will not be required to wear face masks or visors during their shift (more details on this below).
There will be handwashing instructions on posters in all our shops as following good and effective hand hygiene practice is vital.
We will continually review social distancing measures instore, once we are open to the public, making amendments where necessary.
Will you be accepting cash?
We will be asking customers to pay contactless by card to protect our staff, volunteers and customers. Unfortunately, we are unable to accept cash donations.
Do I need to wear a face mask?
Wearing masks has not been deemed essential in our retail shops to prevent infection, in line with government guidance, but you may wish to wear one at your own discretion.
Will your staff and volunteers be wearing masks or visors?
Wearing masks has not been deemed essential in our retail shops to prevent infection, in line with government guidance, but some staff and volunteers may be wearing them at their own discretion.
Will you be temperature checking customers?
Due to the need to keep our patients in our Inpatient Unit at our main hospice at Old Brampton as safe as possible we temperature check all staff and visitors on arrival. This is not something we need to do at our retail shops or premises.
Will there be cleaning/hand sanitising stations in store?
Hand sanitiser will be available on request.
Can I shop with other members of my household or with my children?
Yes, you and more than one person from the same household can enter our shops. If shopping with children, please keep them with you at all times.
Can I enter the shops if I have COVID-19 symptoms?
We ask that any customers showing COVID-19 symptoms do not enter any of our stores.
Will there be a one-way system around shops?
There may be some one-way markings in certain stores or locations where pathways are tight. In most locations we have removed and condensed displays to make it easier for customers and donors to navigate our shop floors at safe, 2 metre distances, to avoid bottlenecks developing.
Have the shop layouts been changed?
Yes, we have reduced the volume and density of displays to allow our customers and teams to walk around whilst adhering to the 2 metre social distancing guidelines. We have removed some of the more decorative displays to focus on volume and to reduce workload for the instore teams. We will review the density of displays and layouts over the coming months. The Retail Ops team have also completed a stock rotation to clear older stock ready for new stock to be displayed.
Will items be taken off for quarantine if touched by customers and put back?
Unfortunately, this would be extremely difficult to do. We will be following the lead of supermarkets who are not quarantining stock which customers have touched and put back and will be focussing on making sure our teams have access to hand sanitiser and handwashing facilities regularly.
Will customer toilets be open?
No, our customer toilets will be closed. Please speak to a member of staff who will help you to locate the nearest public toilet.
Will changing rooms be open?
No, we will be closing our changing rooms in line with government guidance until it is safe to reopen them.
Will you be accepting returns?
Yes, and we will also be extending our Return Policy and timeframes. All customer returns will be quarantined for 72 hours before being put back onto the shop floor.
Will you be controlling the number of customers coming into the shop?
Yes, at peak times, we will be working on a ‘one in, one out’ basis limiting the volume of customers instore at any given time. We will communicate the ideal maximum number of customers for each location using signs either on or near the door. In some locations we will use a marshal process which will be shared with teams when they return to work.
Will there be queues outside the shop?
There will be some locations where we will need to manage queues outside of the store/location which will be communicated with signage or markers.
How much have the social distancing measures in stores cost?
We cannot stress enough that the safety of our staff, volunteers and customers is paramount and we have not compromised on investing in measures which will protect our teams.
We want to make sure that shop teams feel protected and safe, and that customers and donors have a positive shopping experience whilst in store. However, we will always make sure that we have a common-sense approach to procurement of any goods and services.
Questions around donations
Are you accepting donations?
Yes, we will be accepting donations. However, we are expecting a very high volume of donations in the first few weeks of reopening. To help manage the volume which we receive and to ensure that teams can process these donations safely, we will be working to a safe, daily quota, asking customers to donate stock during set times only. We would ask you to phone the shop (you can find our shop phone numbers here) or Donation Centre (01246 203727) before you arrive. If possible, please hold onto your donations or try to avoid bringing all your donations at once.
Do I need to let you know if I’m bringing a donation?
As we are working to a safe, daily quota, we would ask you to phone the shop or Donation Centre before you arrive. We don’t want to have to turn down customers or donations, so please do phone us in advance to check that we are still accepting donations that day. The Donation Centre number is 01246 203727 and you can find our shop phone numbers here.
Where should I bring my donations?
You can bring your donations to one of our shops between 10am and 12pm (see phased reopening order above) or to our Donation Centre between 10am and 2pm. Our Donation Centre will be closed on Wednesdays and Sundays. We would ask you to phone the shop (you can find our shop phone numbers here) or Donation Centre (01246 203727) before you arrive. We don’t want to have to turn down customers or donations, so please do phone us in advance to check that we are still accepting donations that day.
Please note: our Eckington, Bakewell and Shirebrook shops are unable to accept donations due their size and storage capabilities.
What will you be doing with donations?
We will be creating a dedicated area in all shops for the quarantine of all stock received in store. All stock which is donated will be quarantined for a period of 72 hours, before it is processed and put onto our salesfloors for general sale.
Will donations be controlled?
Yes, to support our teams and to make sure that we can safely process donations we will be asking customers to donate between set hours in shops. For the first few weeks, we will also be closing the Clearance shop at Hasland to store some of the high volume of donations which we are expecting.
Questions around furniture delivery
Will you still be providing the same delivery/collection service as usual?
We will be giving our customers the option of contactless delivery/collection, outside of their home if they choose this. We will enter their property if it is safe to do so and if they are not currently self-isolating due to COVID-19 and with strict social distancing measures in place.
How will you make it safe for us to have items delivered to my home?
We will be calling customers ahead and on arrival to communicate the social distancing measures which we will be asking you to adhere to, as well as checking that neither you, nor anyone in your household are currently self-isolating due to COVID-19. We will also be providing furniture drivers with hand sanitiser and PPE.
Questions around the Urgent Appeal
Can I make a donation to your Urgent Appeal in store?
Yes, you can. You can do this by speaking to a team member who will happily process your donation.
How much have the shops being closed impacted your income?
Our shops being closed has lost us hundreds of thousands of pounds in lost income. That is why we are keen to open our shops again if we can, and only if it is safe to do so.
To find out more about our Urgent Appeal, please click here.