Trinity Leeds and White Rose shopping centres 'excited' for full reopening

Monday marks an eagerly anticipated moment for the city’s retailers and shoppers alike as non-essential stores reopen to customers.

Saturday, 13th June 2020, 11:45 am

And as the finishing touches are put in place this weekend, the mood at the Trinity Leeds and White Rose shopping centres is upbeat.

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First look inside Trinity Leeds and White Rose as they prepare to reopen

Trinity Leeds centre director David Maddison said: “I think very genuinely, it’s excitement now. People have had enough of being at home, they just want to get back out now. People are excited to be opening, to be putting new fashion stock out.”

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It is a view shared by his White Rose counterpart, Steven Foster, who said: “I think we’re really looking forward to welcoming people back. The centre will look very different when our guests come back but this is about making them comfortable and giving them that reassurance.”

White Rose has remained open throughout lockdown to allow customers to access Sainsbury's and other essential retailers, but Monday will be the first day of trading for many retailers since March 23.

Mr Foster said: “It looks like two-thirds of the units that can open within the Government guidelines will be able to open from Monday, with more to follow through the week.”

Those guidelines have been the focus of a huge amount of work, with measures such as floor stickers reminding shoppers to social distance, one-way systems and u-turn points for walking round the centres, and hand-sanitising stations at regular intervals.

Trinity Leeds staff will be manning the entrances to help monitor the numbers of shoppers and manage any queues.

Individual shops and the centres as a whole will also be operating queuing systems at entrances to ensure nowhere becomes too crowded, while robust cleaning programmes have been put in place.

Mr Maddison said: “The first priority obviously is the health, safety and welfare of the staff and guests.”

Acknowledging the importance of shoppers feeling confident in the measures, he added: “We’re making sure everything has been done to build that confidence.”

It has undoubtedly been a tough time for retailers of all sizes, which is why Trinity Leeds and White Rose owner Landsec has provided a rental support package of £80m for tenants across the country.

It was a recognition of the role each individual business has in the overall success of popular shopping destinations.

Mr Foster said: “One of the big successes of White Rose has been its mix of retails from large household brands to the smaller, more independent, local brands that people really want to buy into.”

Another big draw is the social aspect of the offline shopping experience – and access to popular retailers with no online presence.

“The biggest retailer in volume in Trinity Leeds is Primark and they do not have online ordering,” Mr Maddison said, adding: “People want the experience of coming out. It’s one of the joys of shopping. Coming into the stores, looking at the shoes or top, buying it immediately.”

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