Hour long queues as shoppers descend on Leeds retail parks

One shopper had been queuing to get into Home Bargains at Kirkstall for more than an hour.One shopper had been queuing to get into Home Bargains at Kirkstall for more than an hour.
One shopper had been queuing to get into Home Bargains at Kirkstall for more than an hour.
Customers have reported hour long queues as shoppers descend on retail parks in Leeds.

Hundreds of people flocked to the city's shopping centres on Saturday, November 28.

Non-essential retail stores remain closed until lockdown is lifted but pharmacies, garden centres, hardware stores, building merchants, bicycle shops and pet shops are allowed to stay open, as long as they meet the Government's criteria.

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One shopper said he had been queuing for one hour to get into the Home Bargains store in Kirkstall Bridge Shopping Park.

This is after a one hour wait to get into Tong Garden Centre earlier in the day.

The man told the Yorkshire Evening Post: "I have been in the queue to get into Home Bargains for more than an hour.

"It's mental but it has been like this everywhere.

"We waited to get into Tong Garden Centre for over an hour too, and again to go into Homebase in Moor Allerton.

"I can't believe how busy it is."

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When can "non-essential" shops reopen?

The country will return to a regional tiered approach when the current lockdown ends on December 2.

Under the new rules non-essential shops, hairdressers and gyms will all be allowed to reopen.

Trinity Leeds and White Rose Shopping Centre have announced their new Covid measures as they prepare to reopen.

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The shopping centres have only been open for access to essential stores and click and collect services during the second national lockdown.

They will reopen fully on Wednesday December 2 as national lockdown measures are lifted after the Government confirmed that non-essential shopping can resume across England.

Landsec, which owns both centres, said extra health and safety measures have been introduced to keep customers safe during the busy Christmas period.

There will be extended trading hours at some retailers to manage peak periods, as well as restrictions on the number of customers let into the centre and shops at one time.

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Social media updates will inform customers of the current capacity at White Rose and Trinity Leeds and the centres are encouraging shoppers to visit before midday or after 5pm on weekdays.

The wearing of face coverings inside the centre and shops will remain mandatory, as required by Government guidelines.

The one-way system which was implemented at both centres before the second lockdown will also continue into December and hand sanitiser stations will be available in all stores.

Centre director at Trinity Leeds, David Maddison, said: “Safety is our highest priority.

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"We’re working hard to ensure we adhere to all government guidelines, and will be continuing to take a robust approach to cleanliness and hygiene.

"As well as the thorough cleaning of the centres, we will be carefully managing the capacity of the centres and individual stores, and masks will continue to be mandatory throughout.

"We will continue to update our website and social media platforms to keep guests up to date with store opening times and offers, along with the best time to visit the centre and our quietest times to shop. "

Steven Foster, centre director at White Rose, added: “In the run up to Christmas, guests are also encouraged to visit the centres at quieter times – before midday, or after 5pm on weekdays – while some retailers will be trading for longer hours to meet demand while adhering to social distancing.

"While Christmas shopping will certainly be different this year, we want it to be as safe and enjoyable as possible.”