Hundreds of customers descend on reopened retailers

Shoppers on Oxford Street, London, as England takes another step back towards normality with the fur

Shoppers on Oxford Street, London, as shops reopen on April 12 - Credit: PA

London’s non-essential shops, hairdressers, gyms and salons opened their doors for the first time in more than three months this morning.

Hundreds of eager customers braved the snow and sleet as they descended on Westfield in Newham, with long queues outside branches of TK Maxx and Primark.

“We continue to run one-way systems, heightened hygiene methods and mandatory mask-wearing to ensure a safe place for visitors and employees,” a Westfield spokesperson said.

The independent boutiques in Old Spitalfields Market also reopened their doors promoting a “shop local” message.

Market stalls at the site will start trading again tomorrow.

“Our retail shops are back and we couldn’t be more delighted,” an Old Spitalfields spokesperson said.

“Come and say ‘hi’, show your support and shop local.”

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Beauty businesses said appointments had been flooding in since Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed they could reopen last week.

Some salons said they had expanded opening hours and had worked flat out to get their businesses ready for the rush.

Treatwell, a hair and beauty booking website, said its surveys had shown more than half of UK consumers planned to return to a salon immediately or within a few days of reopening.