John Lewis asks customers to book shopping slots to avoid Christmas rush

You can book some slots on the John Lewis website now

John Lewis
(Image credit: Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

As lockdown ends next week many of us will be thinking of rushing back to the shops, in order to finish, or even start, our Christmas shopping.

However, with social distancing measures in place still, Christmas shopping will be a different affair. While some shops will have measures in place to avoid contact with strangers John Lewis is asking customers to book before they even turn up.

John Lewis, which has 42 stores around the country, has opened up online booking slots for customers who hope to visit their Cardiff, Aberdeen, and Edinburgh branches - while slots for other locations will open on 2nd December.

The new online booking system is a bid, for the retailer, to stop queuing outside the stores and overcrowding.

The slots, which customers can book two weeks in advance, come in 15-minute slots - just enough time to pick up all those last-minute gifts. Customer who turn up on the day can be added to the virtual queue, if there are any free slots, and come back later to shop.

Pippa Wicks, Executive Director at John Lewis says: 'We're excited to reopen our shops in England and we're looking forward to welcoming back our customers to help them make this Christmas extra special. 

However, she went on to add: "Our priority is to make sure that they are able to shop as safely and easily as they can, whether in our shops or online, while continuing to be delighted and inspired by our Christmas offer.

"While the nation is famous for it's love of queuing, we want to make sure that as temperatures drop, our customers have the chance to do their Christmas shopping in a comfortable, convenient way, however they choose to shop with us. 

"Our Partners have been busy making our shops look and feel as festive as ever and we hope that they will bring our customers some Christmas cheer as they prepare for the festive season."

The news comes as M&S reveal they will be closing all their stores on Boxing day - a prime day for post-Christmas sales. However, the CEO said that his staff deserves time with their family over the Christmas period.