Retail returns – O2 reports strong customer demand with promising signs for the high street as stores in England reopen

  • Based on early signs from trading in Northern Ireland, retail is set to make a comeback
  • NI stores opened 8th June with the first sale reported within minutes of re-opening at O2 store, Belfast Castle Lane
  • First week trading trends include increased demand for face to face tech support and high demand for wearables as lockdown sets customers on a health kick
  • O2 stores across England reopen from today, 15th June

Shoppers are returning to high street stores at pre Covid-19 levels according to early trading signs at O2. The news follows the re-opening of O2 stores across Northern Ireland on 8th June and will cheer those on the high street as retail stores across England reopen today.

In a positive boost for retail, customer levels seen during the first week of opening in Northern Ireland demonstrated that shoppers are keen to return to physical stores to see products for themselves and to receive in-person advice as lockdown eases.

In addition to strong handset sales, there was high demand for face to face tech support from O2 Gurus. The stores also experienced high levels of interest in wearables such as Apple Watch, suggesting that consumers are keen to continue their focus on health and fitness whilst ensuring they remain connected during lockdown.

O2 took the decision to close retail stores ahead of government guidance on 24th March. O2’s store team spent the first phase of lockdown working with experts to redesign its stores to keep them safe for customers when they were able to reopen. In addition to following guidance around social distancing, O2 has implemented a number of further measures to enhance the store experience. These include using technology to provide a virtual queue system to save customer waiting time and personalised O2 Guru appointments to fast track repairs 121 post-lockdown.

For information on store locations and opening hours please visit

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