THE Broadway shopping centre is gearing up for the ‘new normal’ with a major raft of new measures as part of its Covid-19 response. 

The centre, which is currently only open for essential retailers, has introduced a number of changes including the introduction of ‘customer protocols’, social distancing signage and a one-way system. 

Bradford Telegraph and Argus:

There will also be capacity limits for the shopping centre, plus one entry and exit point via Charles Street. 

It’s to ensure people can use the centre safely amid unprecedented times for the retail industry.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus:

Immediate changes:

-All visitors are asked to agree to comply with the customer protocols

-There will be a one-way system in the mall

Bradford Telegraph and Argus:

- Signage will outline which doors are to be used to enter and exit the mall

-Shoppers will be asked to keep to the left and to not stop walking, with slower walkers requested to keep to the far left



-There will be floor vinyls to demonstrate two metre gaps to be kept between people; an out-of-centre queuing system will be implemented to control capacity

-No groups of shoppers outside of family units and carers will be permitted into the centre

-Queuing to enter retailers is only permitted on floor vinyls or ‘queue bubbles’ and toilet facilities and the food court will remain closed.

Ian Ward, General Manager at The Broadway, said that it is “uncharted waters for everyone”.

He added: “As government measures are eased and we start to transition into the next phase, businesses in Bradford must modify processes and procedures in place to ensure staff and customer safety. The foreseeable future in retail will look different and that is no secret, but by working together and adhering to guidance provided, we can shop safely.

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"As guidance is likely to develop in line with shifts in the coronavirus ‘R’ rate, the new measures in the centre are a foundation to build on as we move forward towards a new normality. 

“At present, we have a one-way system to allow safe access to the retailers open - this is via Charles Street.  

"This will also allow security staff to monitor capacity levels and deploy a queuing system outside of the centre when required to ensure social distancing can be adhered to. Retail units will have ‘queue bubbles’ on the floor to demonstrate where customers can wait to enter shops whilst maintaining a safe, social distance. 

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“We also understand that this is a new situation for us all. We ask customers to adhere to the safety rules, or ‘customer protocols’ outlined whilst in the centre to their best ability and we will also implement regular PA announcements to remind shoppers to socially distance themselves from other shoppers and staff members.”

Mr Ward added:  “Whilst any changes in the future when further retailers open are subject to change, we’ve been busy planning for multiple, possible eventualities.

"At present, potential changes we’d make include opening The Broadway food court as a takeaway service only, the car park would re-open as a cashless facility and usage of the stairs and lifts will change to ensure social distancing can be adhered to.”

He said many retailers may take the decision to trade cashless and one-way systems could be extended so only the Forster Square and Currer Street entrances would remain closed.

Mr Ward added it would be a “learning curve”, but said The Broadway is in a strong position to welcome people back safely and it will be an evolving process with things reviewed on a daily basis. 

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He said: “I think it’s fair to believe that at the start a lot of retailers will have some big sales, a lot of stock they wanted to get rid of, so there may even be a mad Christmas-type rush at the beginning which is going to be a massive challenge.

"But then I think we’ll go through a lull to a certain extent, where people will back away again and I actually also think that we’re not going to be back at the significant numbers we were at before.

“It’s going to take a considerable period of time, so there’s going to be a lot of lessons to learn, there’s no two ways about it.”

The opening of The Broadway heralded a new dawn for the city centre after years of the much-maligned ‘hole’. The upheaval brought about by  coronavirus will undoubtedly impact the retail sector, but Mr Ward believes Bradford will come back “stronger than ever”.

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He said: “Retail is an evolving market; we faced tough times in 2008 and 2009, but we bounced back. The Broadway and Bradford as a whole will grasp the formalities of a new normal, and we’ll come back stronger than ever.”

He said retail will adapt  and added: “Right now it’s a challenge, but by working together and communicating efficiently, I believe retail in Bradford will carve a refreshed path and excel.” 

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Bradford BID manager Jonny Noble said the “thoroughness and detail” of the measures being put in place by The Broadway were a prime example of the steps city centre businesses need to take in preparation for the easing of lockdown restrictions.

“Shops and businesses are having to really carefully think through how they can manage the social distancing guidelines to ensure we keep the city centre safe for everyone,” he said.

“There is no ‘one-size fits all’ solution because every shop, every access point, every floor layout is different and many owners and managers will need to be very creative if they are going to reduce the risk of their customers catching Covid-19.”

The BID was working closely with businesses and providing daily updates on advice and guidance through social media and its website and it was looking to source floor-markers and information signage to supply to levy-paying businesses free of charge, to maintain a consistent message throughout the city centre.

“We’re also trying to help shoppers and visitors to play their part,” said Mr Noble.

“It’s not just the job of retailers to ensure people’s safety – shoppers have to play their part too by following the social distancing guidelines, taking their own safety measures and being thoughtful and courteous with each other.

“As part of the #TogetherBradfordCan initiative, the BID has just launched a social media campaign reminding those who come into the city centre of their responsibility to act in a way that keeps both themselves and others safe, including those who work in shops and offices to provide goods and services.

“We’re all in this together and we can all come through this safely together if we follow the guidelines and think of others at all times.”