Staff at B&Q Arcadia Athlone returned to a new reality as the store reopened to the local community amid the easing of restrictions on the roadmap to business and society recovery.
New operating procedures were most evident in store with face masks, visors, gloves, hand sanitisation stations and a managed queuing system all part of the ‘new normal’.
John Mulleady, store manager at B&Q Arcadia Athlone, said he especially wanted to thank customers and staff for the ease at which they had adapted to the new procedures.
“There has been a really friendly atmosphere in store all week–the sunshine has certainly helped! I think customers appreciate all of the new procedures that have been put in place for their safety. Then, of course,we are very appreciative of their custom.
“We have seen strong sales with the garden centre and outdoor products including garden furniture and barbeques are selling well which is as you would expect really with the great weather and people spending more time at home.
“Finally, I would advise everyone, especially the elderly, that there is generally little or no queuing between 8am–10am in the mornings and 5.30pm–7pm in the evenings. That said the queue has been fairly manageable all week and it’s been solid and steady rather than big crowds.
”The size of the B&Q Arcadia Athlone store, over 50,000 square feet with a 10,000 square foot outside garden centre is an advantage in this new COVID-19 world and inside the store you will find new social distancing markings, posters and signs while staff have been provided with masks or clear visors to wear," John remarked.
Arcadia Retail Park management have welcomed the reopening of the B&Q store.
It has been really professionally managed. It’s nice to see our car park busy again and people loading up their car boots, there’s obviously a lot of gardening, painting and DIY projects being completed," Fiachra Mcloughlin, Director Arcadia Retail Park, remarked.
“We had wondered if queues might be a problem but it’s been steady throughout the day without any big issues. The main thing that helps is for customers to plan their visit and purchases in advance to keep things moving briskly. Also the B&Q long opening hours have really helped," Caroline Muldoon, Commercial Manager Arcadia Retail Park, added.