Masked Fortnum and Mason employees signal the future of shopping as world-famous Piccadilly department store reopens its dining rooms
- The company reopened the ground floor of its London headquarters on Thursday
- It opened from 11am to 7pm and the bars and restaurants in the store were closed
- Fortnum plans to open the first floor on May 28 at the St Pancras store on May 26
Fortnum and Mason reopened their doors on the Piccadilly flagship as staff wore masks and took social distance measures.
The chic department store in London opened its main foods on Thursday, including the basement dining room.
It opened from 11am to 7pm and the bars and restaurants in the store were closed in accordance with the lock rules.
The company plans to open the store’s first floor on May 28 and the second and third floors on June 1.
Fortnum and Mason reopened the food halls of world-famous Picadilly department store in London on Thursday as staff wore face masks
Commercial director Lucy Williams told suppliers that the retailer has “set up rigorous controls to ensure the safety of both our teams and our customers.”
Staff also wear visors for personal protective equipment while the public is welcomed to the store
Commercial director Lucy Williams told suppliers that the store has “set rigorous controls to ensure the safety of both our teams and our customers.”
It has sent guidelines to suppliers to ensure health and safety when delivered directly to the store.
Director Ewan Venters celebrated the store’s reopening on Thursday.
He said, “We’ve been around for 312 years and we’re not going anywhere except going back to work and serving our customers better than ever.”
Fortnum and Mason have sent suppliers guidelines to ensure health and safety when delivering directly to the store
A porter is questioned by people about his face shield while standing in front of the main entrance of the store
Chief Executive Ewan Venters says “we’ve been around for 312 years and we’re not going anywhere except going back to work and serving our customers better than ever”
The store’s headquarters at 181 Piccadilly was founded in 1707 by William Fortnum and Hugh Mason.
It also has shops at St Pancras train station, which is said to open on May 26, and Heathrow Airport.
An employee wearing personal protective equipment
The company’s reputation was built on providing quality food as a supermarket and experienced rapid growth throughout the Victorian era, leading to global acclaim.
William Fortnum was a lackey for Queen Anne and convinced his landlord Hugh Mason to open the shop with him.
During the Napoleonic Wars, it supplied dead officers with fruit, spices and other preserves to British officers.
In the Victorian era, it was often called upon to provide food for prestigious court functions.
The company also claims to have founded the Scotch egg in 1738.
Now the store has a number of other outside food departments, as well as restaurants and cafes, which will remain closed for the time being.
The partial reopening comes after Selfridge opened its dining room on Oxford Street earlier this month.
Selfridges was one of the first British retailers to temporarily close its stores before the government introduced a nationwide lockout.
Food director Michael Weber said, “We are delighted to re-open the doors of our dining room and serve our local community again.
“We are working hard to ensure that our customers and our team members end up in a safe and welcoming environment, including a few Selfridges experiences to make the day brighter for everyone.”