The run-up to Christmas could be busier than ever this year, as businesses and consumers try to make up for the trade lost during November, when England shut down to curb the spread of coronavirus.
Meadowhall’s managers have put in place a number of new rules and other measures to keep staff and visitors safe during the festive period.
The Tier 3 restrictions mean that while non-essential stores can welcome customers back, cafes and restaurants must remain closed, though some will be offering a takeaway or delivery service.
There will be a one-way ‘keep left’ system, all visitors must wear a face covering unless exempt for medical reasons and enhanced cleaning will be in place.
People have been asked to wash their hands regularly, or make use of the hand sanitising stations available, and to use contactless payment where possible.
Meadowhall will be open from 8am-11pm Monday to Saturday, and 10.30am-5.30pm on Sundays, with free parking available as usual.
Visitor numbers will be carefully managed to ensure social distancing can be maintained, and if the shopping centre becomes particularly busy visitors may be asked to queue outside and car parks may close temporarily.
The entrances with covered queuing areas are the main dome entrance (Red and Yellow car parks) and the M&S entrance (Pink car park).
Shoppers are being encouraged to visit outside of peak times if they can, with weekday evenings from 6pm expected to be quieter. To check how busy the centre is, visit www.meadowhall.co.uk/christmas/quiet-times.
The following retailers have all extended their opening hours for December:
Boots – until 10pm
Next – until 10pm
Topshop – until 10pm
Primark – until 11pm
Meadowhall has already switched on its Christmas lights and will also be hosting an Artisan Market.
The Independent Yorkshire Shop will also be returning this week, offering a wide range of unique gifts and handmade products from across the region.
Two new gift card kiosks are in place, and can be found at customer services on the Upper Level next to the Dome and the Sessions area on Park Lane.
Darren Pearce, centre director at Meadowhall, said: “We’re really looking forward to welcoming visitors back to Meadowhall later this week.
“We know Christmas is going to be very different this year and so we’re doing everything we can to help everyone enjoy a safe shopping experience this festive season.”
Face coverings will be available at the customer service desks, costing £4 each or three for £10, with proceeds going to Sheffield Children’s Hospital, Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice and Weston Park Cancer Charity.
Shoppers have been urged to consider using click-and-collect, with the full list of retailers offering this service available at www.meadowhall.co.uk/eatdrinkshop/now-open.
You can also use the Collect+ service, located on Lower High Street, outside Wilko, to pick up or return items at any time within the centre’s opening hours.
Any visitors wishing to pick up takeaway food and drink have been asked to do so at the end of their visit so they can take it home to enjoy.