Brighton residents started queuing early this morning as non-essential shops re-opened after having been closed for nearly 3 months.
All shops in England are now permitted to open, provided they take extra precautions to ensure social distancing regulations can be adhered to.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson urged people to “shop, and shop with confidence” in the hope that a surge in high-street spending could help to kickstart the post-lockdown economy.
The longest queues in Brighton were outside high-street giant Primark, which does not offer online shopping.
In a message to customers, a spokesperson for the chain said: “Whether you’ve got a wish list that’s been growing since lockdown began, need to re-stock on some of your Primark favourites or want to pick up a thank you gift for a supportive friend, we’re so happy to welcome you back.
“Nothing matters more to us than the health and well-being of our employees and customers. Since we’ve been closed, we have been working hard to make sure that we have the right systems and equipment in place to help protect everyone in our stores.
“If we could ask you to help us by following all the social distancing guidance and safety measures provided in our stores. Our colleagues are there to help make that as easy as possible for you, but we would ask everyone to help play their part in keeping safe and well.”
Having not been able to visit clothes shops since the 23rd March, many people are looking forward to splashing some cash on a few new outfits.
Marie, 23, who lives in Hanover said: “Obviously you’ve still been able to buy clothes online, but its nice to be able to go and try things on again. We’re coming out of lockdown into summer and I need some new outfits! I feel like I deserve to treat myself because it’s been a challenging time.”
Commenting on whether she feels nervous about mixing with crowds in shops, Marie added: “I think as long as shops have put measures in place it’ll be alright. Everyone just needs to be careful and obey the rules. Also, shops will be limiting the number of people allowed in at any one time, so it shouldn’t be overly crowded.”