Over 200 shoppers waited in queue BEFORE Meadowhall Primark reopened at 8am
It was a momentous day for Meadowhall on Monday (April 12) as thousands of visitors thronged the popular shopping centre on the first day of the nationwide reopening of non-essential businesses.
Describing it as "a strong, confident start" after a three-month lockdown, Meadowhall centre director Darren Pearce said there was a degree of excitement around the relaunching of the retail stores.
Popular fashion chains such as Primark and Zara in particular saw long queues formed outside the stores even before they opened.
He said: "On early dawn, there were about 200 people in the queue for Primark before they opened at 8am. There was a lot of demand for the store as there were queues all day.
"Zara and Size? also saw long queues outside their stores. There was a lot of excitement around the return to the environment."
He added it was evident on Monday when both retailers and shoppers managed to engage in a very confident way, despite safety rules to stem the spread of coronavirus remaining in place.
"With Covid, it's been very well managed since the past year. We got all the right plans to make sure when people returned on the first day, they came back with confidence," he said.
The visitors also adapted well to the new outdoor setting as food and drinks still could not be consumed inside the premises.
Meadowhall is currently offering a takeaway service for shoppers to enjoy at home or in one of two designated outdoor dining areas.
This includes covered spaces next to the Oasis Dining Quarter and a bespoke area outside the High Street entrance, next to Argos and customers must be seated while eating and follow all Government guidelines around social distancing.
With 222 stores returning to business and more due to open throughout the week, Mr Pearce predicted that the encouraging footfall would continue.
"I am expecting the same sort of trend to carry on the rest of the week. A lot of people in Sheffield are still on Easter break. It's good that people are feeling really confident in coming back to shopping after three months of lockdown."