“It’s very exciting, we can’t wait to have our customers back,” says Annie Martin, who manages the Waterstones Piccadilly bookshop, in London.
Non-essential retailers, such as fashion, toy and book shops, will be allowed to reopen in England on 15 June – as long as they have coronavirus-related safety measures in place.
Waterstones, for example, is introducing Perspex “sneeze screens” and a quarantine trolley where books that have been browsed will be held for “a couple of days”.
“We want to keep bookshop experience exactly as it normally would be,” says Annie. “We’re still encouraging people to browse, we’re just looking after those books once you’ve browsed them.”
Annie has been working on implementing those changes behind-the-scenes, but is also looking forward to seeing her colleagues back in-store.
“Bookshops are quite close teams… We’ve been messaging, but it’s not quite the same as seeing colleagues in person for a chat,