POUNDLAND today announced it will begin re-awakening its hibernating stores – including one in Trowbridge - from 8am on Friday

The announcement follows Prime Minister Boris Johnson's roadmap for lifting lockdown restrictions disclosed yesterday.

The UK’s leading discount retailer has kept most of its stores open for essential shopping across the UK throughout the pandemic.

But it placed some stores back in hibernation in January as customer numbers dropped sharply when nearby non-essential retailers closed.

In anticipation that the easing of restrictions announced by the PM last night will mark the start of a steady return to normality, colleagues in 29 hibernating stores will return to work today to prepare the store for opening on Friday.

Poundland plans to bring the remaining stores out of hibernation in the coming weeks and is working closely with landlords and shopping centres on re-opening plans.

Dubbed Operation Spring Back, all the stores coming out of hibernation will re-open to customers with the robust health and safety measures that have been in operation throughout the pandemic.

Poundland retail director, Austin Cooke, said: “We’re proud to have kept most of our stores open serving our communities with the essentials they need, but in some places, we couldn’t stay open when so many of our neighbours were forced to close.

“The roadmap is good news for retailers and our town centres which have such an important role to play in our recovery and our colleagues and customers will be delighted that we’re re-opening in these locations, and so are we.

“Safety continues to be our first priority, and shoppers can return with confidence - we’re well versed in making our stores safe place to shop.

"We’re all looking forward to giving them a warm welcome as they return.”

Like all Poundland stores, the reopened stores will operate to the highest standards of safety with barrier screens at checkouts and thorough and regular cleaning regimes applied across the day.

Customers are asked to observe government guidelines on social distancing and wearing masks.