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Hundreds of shoppers queue as Ikea Belfast reopens

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IKEA in Belfast opens its door for the first time since the lockdown began, with hundreds of shoppers queuing to get in. Some had been queuing from before 8am
Photo credit: Liam McBurney/PA Wire

IKEA in Belfast opens its door for the first time since the lockdown began, with hundreds of shoppers queuing to get in. Some had been queuing from before 8am Photo credit: Liam McBurney/PA Wire

IKEA in Belfast opens its door for the first time since the lockdown began, with hundreds of shoppers queuing to get in. Some had been queuing from before 8am Photo credit: Liam McBurney/PA Wire

Massive queues formed as home furnishings retailer Ikea opened its doors for the first time in months in Belfast today.

Social distance wardens patrolled the long queues that ran along the main road outside the store.

Samantha Fisher and her daughter Atlanta, from Groomsport, near Bangor in Co Down, queued from 8am.

They have a bedroom to furnish which has lain empty for weeks during the coronavirus pandemic lockdown.

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Samantha Fisher  and her daughter Atlanta pose together after shopping in IKEA
Photo credit: Liam McBurney/PA Wire

Samantha Fisher and her daughter Atlanta pose together after shopping in IKEA Photo credit: Liam McBurney/PA Wire

Samantha Fisher and her daughter Atlanta pose together after shopping in IKEA Photo credit: Liam McBurney/PA Wire

Ms Fisher said: "I wanted my dressing table.

"My room is empty because I did it up a few months ago and it is just a big space ready for it to go in.

"So that will be my husband's job tonight, to build it and put it together."

They also bought mirrors, blankets and outdoor furnishings.

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IKEA in Belfast opens its door for the first time since the lockdown began with hundreds of shoppers queuing to get in
Photo credit: Liam McBurney/PA Wire

IKEA in Belfast opens its door for the first time since the lockdown began with hundreds of shoppers queuing to get in Photo credit: Liam McBurney/PA Wire

IKEA in Belfast opens its door for the first time since the lockdown began with hundreds of shoppers queuing to get in Photo credit: Liam McBurney/PA Wire

People were allowed into the cavernous store in small numbers from 9am.

Extra screens have been installed to protect staff and wipes were available at pay points.

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Ms Fisher said: "Everybody was very helpful."

She worked for Flybe and was made redundant at the start of March when the airline collapsed.

Her daughter was studying and said everything had been put on pause.

Ms Fisher said: "Things are starting to change a bit now, at least you are able to get out of the house and see your friends.

"I feel sorry for the young ones because they are missing all their friends."

The Stormont Executive announced recently that some large lower footfall or outdoor stores like garden centres could begin to reopen as part of the easing of lockdown.

Most non-essential retailers have been shuttered since March to inhibit the spread of coronavirus.


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