The Penneys flagship store on Mary Street had to open almost two hours earlier than expected today due to the sheer numbers queuing to shop with summer clothes top of many people’s priority list.
Gardai and Penneys had early morning consultations and opened the store doors at around 8.30, two hours earlier that expected, in order to process the queue of around 150 people which snaked its way onto Jervis Street and ran the full length of the store and back around onto Parnell Street.
Clearly shoppers can't wait to get through the doors, so how different do the stores look, and how has the Penney's shopping experience changed?
The biggest change to the Penneys shopping experience going forward will be the no changing rooms rule. The old days of queueing for the changing rooms armed with a giant net bag full of ‘maybe buys’ are over and now you will have to make the decision to buy or not on the shop floor.
However, you can expect queueing for the tills to take more time now because only every second till will be in operation. This which allows more space between customers and between employers who will now be behind Perspex screens.
The layouts have been changed to allow for two metre distancing and there are limits on the number of customers in the store at any one time so factor in wait time. So shoppers can expect a more spaced out retail experience, and less people inside the store.
In recent years Penneys have made big inroads into the affordable beauty sector but curious shoppers won’t be able to test any samples or colour match as all the beauty and health samples have been put away.
There will be no quick file and paint nail jobs either. The affordable nail service has been put on ice due to the two metre rule.
Unruly eyebrows would be getting waxed or tinting in store either but the company have said they may review this policy as the situation develops and in line with government guidance.
Extra security staff are on the floor to help customers follow social distancing and you can expect regular safety announcements and reminders to social distance on the tannoy. There are hand sanitisers all over the stores and outside the doors.
Need to spend a penny? Well be warned, store toilets are closed along with coffee carts.
There was no ogling fashion in the window in Mary Street this morning as they have been filled with Covid-19 safety measure warnings.
The company have said not to expect sales or special offers .
And finally, the stores that have on-street access doors opened today but be warned, their closing times differ. For example, the big shop on Dublin’s O’Connell Street will be open until 9pm tonight while the one in Dun Laoghaire will close at 6pm. The remaining Penneys stores which are located in shopping centres will all open next Monday.