Big name brands including have reopened hundreds of stores across the country – but not in Stoke-on-Trent.
Among the retailers and restaurants welcoming back customers this week following the easing of lockdown include homeware store Dunelm, fast food giant McDonald’s and Costa.
Long lists of locations which are now up and running have been published over the last few days.
But in the vast majority of cases, the Potteries has not been included despite being home to many of the chains.
Dunelm revealed yesterday that it was relaunching 39 outlets with social distancing measure in place but the Fenton branch remains closed to all except click-and-collect customers.
Slowly but surely, some eateries across Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffordshire have been re-opening – albeit with new social distancing guidelines firmly in place.
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However, similarly sized cities like Derby and Coventry and much smaller towns such as Chesterfield have seen their shops reopen.
Meanwhile, Stokies have been eagerly anticipating the return of McDonald’s which has several branches at Festival Park, Sandyford, Chesterton, Trent Vale, Fenton, Longton, Meir Park and Norton Heights.
However, once again North Staffordshire has not been included as 55 drive-thrus are now open elsewhere in the UK.
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And the same if the case with Burger King with Hanley’s Century Retail Park restaurant closed.
Another popular chain to snub the city is Costa Coffee which has, however, opened down the road in Stafford and at 78 other locations.
Bakery Greggs – which has several North Staffordshire branches – is also reopening stores on an ad-hoc basis but has so far preferred to stick to its North East heartland.
And Nando’s has announced it will be re-opening six restaurants in the UK in London and Manchester for delivery only.
Matalan is another chain which has reopened stores – but not its one in Hanley.
All non-essential shops were ordered by the Government to close on March 23 in a bid to stop the spread of the deadly Covid-19.
Last week, Prime Minister Boris Johnson unveiled a three-stage roadmap for getting the country back on its feet.
It comes as Chancellor Rishi Sunak has warned that the UK is facing a ‘never seen before’ recession due to the pandemic.