John Lewis has confirmed it will reopen a further nine department stores on Thursday 25 June – including the one in York.
It follows the retailer opening 13 stores last week, and will mean 28 remain closed.
The company said further announcements on reopenings will come in the next few weeks, although insiders have warned previously it is “highly unlikely” all 50 will ever reopen again.
Some of the stores will increase the number of customers allowed in each site at any one time after bosses found that social distancing was possible with greater crowds in bigger stores.
Berangere Michel, director for customer service at the John Lewis Partnership, which also owns Waitrose, said: “We are still reopening our shops carefully and in phases to ensure that our safety measures are absolutely right, and remain prepared to stop and review our plans if need be.”
“We are already applying lessons learned from our first store openings earlier this week,” Berangere Michel said.
“We found that in some shops we were able to increase the number of customers and still maintain robust social distancing, and made our signage clearer in order to help customers navigate the changes.
“Although we are not able to offer every single experience that we used to, we are still managing to offer customers a really varied shopping experience that is as close to normal and as enjoyable as we can possibly make it.
“Customers will still be able to touch products, lie on beds, try on and test wipeable products such as sunglasses, prams, and tech products, and get the personal advice they expect from our partners.”
According to the retailer, sales of TVs have jumped as football returns to screens following lockdown, and with Fathers’ Day approaching sales of cards are also strong.