When are London's main retailers reopening?

As the government announces all non-essential shops are allowed to open on 15 June, these are the official statements from London's foremost department stores and retail districts

As brick-and-mortar retail reopens, department stores and luxury boutiques will need to prove themselves as unique, creative and - most importantly - safe destinations for shoppers 

23 June 2020

As Boris Johnson outlined the government’s plans towards ‘step two’ of the coronavirus exit strategy, retail bosses let out a sigh of relief. The coronavirus epidemic has hit the luxury sector particularly hard, though for some areas – cue the luxury hospitality heroes - it has only highlighted their steadfast commitment to service. In a televised announcement on the 25 May, the prime minister stated that from the 1st June open markets and showrooms will be able to start trading again. From the 15th June, all other non-essential retailers, such as clothing boutiques, shoe shops, tailors and auction houses will be able to open their doors to the public once again.

The British Retail Consortium advises that shops can reopen as long as they adhere to safety guidelines. This includes staggering shift times, managing footfall and the use of plastic screens at payment points. For some retailers, there will also be widespread discounting as a result of the mountain of unsold stock. Luxury retailers are expected to draw customers to their brick-and-mortar boutiques through a range of incentives, including private appointments, complimentary transfers, discounts and special gifting for VIP clients.

In Chelsea, where more than 200 boutiques are expected to open from 15 June, there will be regular deep cleaning on the Estate and Pavilion Road has also been pedestrianised to create more space for shoppers. Many luxury boutiques on Sloane Street are offering personal shopping experiences via Zoom, WhatsApp and Facetime, as well as kerb-side collection to allow for contactless delivery.

In the meantime, these are the official statements and services available from London’s most prominent stores.

Harrods 

From 18 May, select Harrods customers have been able to enjoy retail therapy – albeit from afar. Supposedly, the store's most prized clients are shopping remotely via personal assistants, who cherry-pick customers' items off the shelves. When you stock items like Chopard's L.U.C Tourbillon (priced in the region of half a million pounds), someone's got to buy it.

When the Knightsbridge emporium reopens, it plans to use footfall monitoring technology to limit capacity, as well as installing hand sanitiser stations across all floors. Harrods has also announced the opening of a new outlet in Westfield Shepherd's Bush this July, to coincide with the summer sale and help to shift surplus stock as a result of coronavirus. The two-floor outlet has been designed to support social distancing in high numbers, and will encompass products from fashion, accessories and other departments. 

The Harrods beauty salon and wellness centre remains closed until July. 

Updated hours: 11am - 7pm Monday-Saturday, 11:30am-6pm Sunday 

harrods.com

Selfridges 

Whilst you may not be able to enjoy a fresh shave at Acqua di Parma's Barbiere, you can still pick up gourmet groceries at Selfridges London's magnificent Food Hall. The flagship reopened at the beginning of May and has implemented strict social-distancing measures, including a one-way traffic policy and protective screens, as well as offering complimentary hand sanitiser to shoppers. Doorman, clad in protective gear, have even been handing out yellow posies to customers. The Food Hall is currently open 10am to 6pm (11am to 5pm on Sundays).

Updated hours: 11am-7pm Monday-Saturday, 12pm-6pm Sunday

selfridges.com

Liberty London 

How we missed walking through the flower-scented entrance of Liberty! For the first time in its 145-year history, Liberty has remained closed since March. The Soho stalwart, famous for its mock-Tudor façade, has restrategised its business online and is currently offering free UK standard delivery. There is also a digital offering of podcasts, video tours and downloadable colouring pages, featuring iconic Liberty prints. For those getting crafty during lockdown, Liberty’s selection of fabrics and haberdashery is second to none. 

Updated hours: 11am-7pm Monday-Saturday, 12pm-6pm Sunday

libertylondon.com

Fortnum & Mason – now open 

The Queen's grocer has now reopened its Ground, Lower Ground Food and Upper Halls at reduced hours. The Piccadilly emporium is encouraging social-distancing by operating a one-way system on the stairs and erecting safety screens at the tills to protect tailcoated staff. Why not pick up a world-famous Fortnum & Mason hamper? Perfect for enjoying in the park now that lockdown has been eased. Fortnum & Mason is also showing its appreciation to the NHS by turning its iconic facade blue on Thursday evenings.

Updated hours: 11am-7pm Monday-Saturday, 12pm-6pm Sunday

fortnumandmason.com

Harvey Nichols – now open 

For the first time, Rewards customers are being offered the opportunity to book a time slot to visit the store. Not only will these appointments give the benefit of a fast-track queueing system, but also a dedicated Style Advisor on hand to assist with any enquiries and help to navigate the store. All areas of the store are open, with the exception of beauty services and hospitality, although there will be take-away food and drink options. Online there is still a small delivery charge, from £5 for standard delivery, £8 for next-day delivery and £3.50 for beauty and cosmetic delivery. 

Updated hours: 11am - 7pm Monday-Saturday, 11:30am-6pm Sunday 

harveynichols.com

Dover Street Market – now open

Dover Street Market has always been a step ahead, especially on the online front. Despite lockdown, DSM still continues to launch hot collaborations with brands like Doc Martens and Stüssy. Check out the latest Nike x Travis Scott collab and keep an eye on the merchant's Instagram for the latest drops 

Updated hours: 12pm-6pm Monday-Sunday

doverstreetmarket.com

The Royal Exchange – now open

The square mile's definitive shopping destination, the Royal Exchange has finally come out of hibernation. Home to a special collection of contemporary luxury brands including Fortnum & Mason, Hermès, Jo Malone London, Mulberry,  Church’s, Bremont, Smythson, Omega, and Tiffany & Co. it's the perfect place to pick up a gift for Father's Day.

Updated hours: 7am-11pm Monday - Friday, 8am-11pm Saturday

theroyalexchange.co.uk