Boris Johnson’s road-map out of lockdown has offered hope that non-essential retailers could open as early as next month.

The Prime Minister’s plan currently suggests all shops will be able to reopen from April 12 – though that will be reviewed before the end of March.

Non-essential retailers have been closed since at least early January when a national lockdown was enforced.

But people in parts of Essex, which were placed under tougher, regional rules in December, have been waiting even longer to get back to their favourite stores.

So here is what popular retailers are saying after the road-map out of lockdown was announced last week:


The Argus:

Primark owners, ABF, have confirmed they will reopen all UK stores on April 12, providing they get the final go-ahead from the Government.

It is already planning to reopen dozens of stores in Germany, Spain and the Netherlands in March.

ABF said in a statement: “Following the announcement by the UK Government on the 22 February the reopening of the 153 stores in England is likely on 12 April.

“We are looking forward to the reopening of all of our estate and we will ensure that our stores will offer exciting seasonal range for spring/summer.

“Importantly we have been placing orders for merchandise with a long lead time for the autumn/winter season.”


Argos is also expected to reopen on April 12, but has yet to confirm that date with customers.

In an update posted on its website today (March 1), the retailer said: “Following guidelines, we have made changes across our stores for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

“These guidelines have replaced our usual services, and will be in place until advised otherwise.

“To avoid any non-essential journeys, we’ve extended our returns policy – any purchases made from 18 October 2020 can be returned up to 30 days from the re-opening of non-essential retail in your area, in-line with our returns guarantee.”

Lockdowns and the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic will lead to the closure of 420 standalone Argos stores by 2024.

John Lewis

The department store says it is planning for reopening in line with the Government’s guidelines, suggesting it will be opening on April 12.

A spokesman said: "Following the Prime Minister's announcement on the proposed road map for April, which is dependent on a number of conditions being met, we will start to plan for the reopening of our John Lewis shops in England.

"We will await further guidance from the devolved administrations for those John Lewis shops in Wales and Scotland."


The Argus:

The popular Swedish homeware store has yet to confirm its reopening date, but it will be able to reopen from April 12.

The latest statement on the firm’s website said: “We’re happy to tell you that we’re open online for contact-free home deliveries, as well as click and collect from all our stores except in Belfast, with thorough safety measures in place for both services.

“If you need additional help to make your interior dreams become a reality, explore our online planning services.

“We want you to know that we’re all very much here to help make your everyday life at home just that bit nicer, so you can stay safe, cosy and comfy in 2021.”


The fashion retailer has yet to confirm it will be reopening in April but is expected to follow others and welcome back customers from the 12th.

It’s website currently says: “In line with the latest guidance, most of our shops in England, Scotland and Wales are now only open for "click and collect" or returning your online orders.

“Delivery to home and nextunlimited are operating as normal, and you can arrange for returns to be collected from your home.”

JD Sports

The Argus:

The sports retailer says it is monitoring the situation and will announce when it will reopen stores in the future.

In a statement, it said: “We continue to closely monitor the rapidly changing situation surrounding the COVID-19 virus. Our hearts go out to everyone who has been directly or indirectly impacted by its spread.

“Certain JD Sports stores may be temporarily closed and are re-opening in accordance with local government guidelines.

“We continue to focus on the health of our store associates, corporate office staff, our customers and their communities as we address this crisis together.

“We are taking additional measures to maintain safety in stores as we re-open.”


Matalan is another retailer which has yet to confirm its reopening date. 

It says its will continue to follow Government advice, hinting it will reopen once allowed to do so on April 12. 

It said in a statement: "All of our stores in England are currently closed in line with government guidance.

"Click and collect is available in selected stores. You can return items that were bought online to stores that are open for click and collect.

"You must bring the invoice from your parcel, as the refund cannot be processed without it.

"Please always refer to our store finder for your local store’s click and collect opening times before making your journey.

"We look forward to seeing you soon."