SHOPPERS bundled into Nike’s flagship London store ignoring social distancing rules earlier today.
The Oxford Street store opened its doors today for the first time in three months as the coronavirus lockdown rules for the high street are eased.
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Around 400 shoppers queued up outside the store ready for when they opened at 10am, before shoving their way to the front to be the first inside.
The crush caused security to step in and limit the number of people allowed in the store to groups of around 10 at a time.
Cops were called to control the crowds, who afterwards were seen chatting to customers encouraging them to stand apart from others.
Nike staff also took to the pavements to tell customers to social distance while they waited to be let into the trainer shop.
It comes as shoppers were pictured queuing outside stores including Primark and Sports Direct this morning, with some customers camping overnight to be first through the doors.
“Non-essential” shops are allowed to reopen stores today as the high street finally kicks back into life following the coronavirus shutdown.
Retailers have had to implement a range of “Covid-19 secure” measures, including social distancing and limiting the number of shoppers allowed in stores at the same time, before reopening to the public.
Shops face being slapped with a fine or shut down if they’re found to be breaking the rules.
At its flagship store in Birmingham, Primark customers were seen queuing overnight to be front of the queue, forcing the store to open early to cope with demand.
The shop was due to open at 8am but ended up letting shoppers in 35 minutes early at 7.25am, according to Birmingham Live, who reported how one superfan queued from 4.30am to be first inside.
Similar queues have also been seen outside branches of Sports Direct, Nike, Next and John Lewis stores.
It comes as retailers including Debenhams and Zara have slashed up to 70 per cent off to entice shoppers to start spending – although Primark has previously said it won’t be launching special sales or flash discounts.
Only high streets in England are reopening from today, – there has been no date announced by devolved government for when stores in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland will follow.
Changes customers can expect inside stores include fewer tills, no testers and new contactless returns.
Shoppers will also be banned from trying on clothes and will be encouraged to use hand sanitiser stations before entering shops.
Nike has been contacted for comment.
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Brits have been tweeting about the queues in their high street this morning, with some criticising customers for not social distancing.
One person posted: “Queue outside Primark in town started at 6am apparently, shop doesn’t open until 10.”
Another said: “I’ve literally just seen more people queue up for Primark than a Beyoncé concert.”
A third tweeted: “If you go up Primark can you get me some socks, cute PJ set, jeans, nails, that good face powder and some of them nice facemasks. Queue is mental and I miss my 3 quid pamper sesh.”
Tweeting about the line of customers outside Niketown in Oxford Circus, London, one shopper said: “Good to see the queue observing social distancing as well. Not…”
Three in five of the best-known stores are set to reopen today in a boost for our Bounce Back Britain campaign to help people, communities and businesses get back on their feet.
The Sun has rounded up a full list of retailers that you can now shop from.
Shops are desperate for a boost as customers return to the high street, with lockdown costing them £1.8billion a week according to new data from the British Retail Consortium.
It comes as Chancellor Rishi Sunak is believed to be considering a temporary VAT cut to get Britain spending once again.
The Times reports how the Treasury will make a decision once figures show if shoppers are spending again.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed all “non-essential” retailers would be allowed to reopen again on June 15 in an announcement on May 25.
Previously, only stores that were deemed “essential” were allowed to stay open during the Covid-19 lockdown – this included retailers who sell food and medicines, as well as some hardware shops.
Homeware shops were given the green light to reopen on May 20, while outdoor markets and car showrooms were able to reopen on June 1.
“Non-essential” stores were told to make their businesses “Covid-secure” before reopening.
This includes making sure the NHS has the capacity to provide critical care and specialist treatment, as well as ensuring there is a sustained and consistent fall in daily deaths.