Bedford's Currys PC World will re-open next week
The company will reopen 131 stores as 'Tech Help Hubs'
Currys PC World has unveiled plans for a phased reopening of 131 of its stores from next week - including the one in Bedford - initially opening as expert ‘Tech Help Hubs’ to support customers with existing tech needs.
Launching from Monday, June 15, the move from the UK’s largest electrical retailer, will see Currys PC World colleagues on hand across 131 stores, dubbed ‘Tech Help Hubs,’ to:
- Help customers with tech advice and problem-solving, no matter where it was purchased
- Help customers safely recycle old tech for free when brought to store, wherever the tech was previously bought
- Help customers solve concerns, including introducing an extended returns policy to make things easier
Currys PC World’s tech experts have been specially briefed to help customers with any tech challenges they may have faced during the lockdown period; and, for the first three days of opening, the place of purchase will not matter.
In addition, the retailer will offer free recycling of any tech brought into store that may be cluttering up people’s homes, in a way that is safe and within environmental guidelines.
Expert colleagues will also be on hand to deal with anything else where customers may need support, including exchanges, repairs and returns.
The retailer has extended its returns policy to cover items bought in-store up to March 24, 2020, accepting valid returns until July 6.
Queue marshals, practising social distancing, will engage customers to understand their requirements and match them to the diverse expertise of Currys PC World in-store colleagues.
The tried-and-tested smart queue management approach will be vital to help things move as quickly and smoothly as possible.
At the same time, Currys PC World will continue to make it easy for customers to buy the tech they need.
Currys.co.uk will continue to be open 24/7 with next day home-delivery and same day zero-contact ‘order & collect’ being offered from open stores.
Those who prefer to shop from home, but want the benefit of expertise to help them make a purchase, can interact with store colleagues using the ShopLive video personal shopping service.
During the three-day period, customers will be able to buy from stores, but helping consumers with existing tech queries will be prioritised.
From June 18, the 131 open stores will move to the normal Currys PC World offering, allowing customers to browse shelves safely and buy as normal, while the retailer works to bring back its usual services, slowly and safely.
The remainder of Currys PC World stores will look to open over the forthcoming weeks.
All stores will reopen with rigorous social distancing and hygiene measures in place, adhering to government standards.
Currys PC World colleagues returning back to work have also received specialised briefings and training, with the upmost safety for fellow colleagues and customers in mind.
Some of the key safety and cleanliness measures introduced include (but are not limited to);:
- Limited number of customers allowed in store at one time, with a one-way system and clear floor-markings to keep customers at least 2m apart
- Safety screens at checkouts and service desks to protect everyone, with customers encouraged to use contactless payment if possible
- Clear in-store signage asking customers to speak to a colleague should they want to see a demo (versus touching the technology themselves) who can then show the product in action safely
- Increased and more regular cleaning and sanitising of trolleys, handrails and products, with protective equipment for colleagues that need it, alongside plenty of anti-bacterial gel dispensers
- Working closely on safety measures with the British Retail Consortium and Environmental Health Officers.
The retailer’s ‘slowly and safely’ approach includes a process for constantly challenging and improving its own measures for colleagues and customers.
That process includes the creation of a digital forum for colleagues to exchange learnings, as well the introduction of a Safety Review Board.
The board will meet weekly, with the attendance of store managers, safety experts and Alex Baldock, the group’s CEO, who will attend for the next few weeks.
There will also be roving personnel reviewing the way things are working in store and identifying potential improvements.
Chief Operating Officer, Mark Allsop, Dixons Carphone: “Our three day ‘Tech Help Hub’ initiative is part of our commitment to put customers first – even customers that have previously chosen to buy their tech elsewhere.
"We’re pleased to be opening our stores slowly and safely across the UK & Ireland – and we will maintain extreme vigilance, constantly reviewing and improving our approach to safety in an ever-changing situation.
"Most importantly we’re proud of our colleagues themselves, people who continue to work hard to make sure consumers across the country get the tech they need safely.”