Poundland has announced it will reopen another 26 stores which have been closed since the government-mandated lockdown.

The discount retailer said trade will resume in the stores again this week after 51 shops reopened last week.

About 100 stores were temporarily shut in March, despite the retailer keeping most of its stores open for essential shopping.

From this week the store in Carlisle, Whitehaven and Barrow will once again open its doors to customers.

The closed shops were largely where there was another Poundland nearby or where shopping centres found it difficult to remain open, Poundland said.

Stores have been reopening under 'Operation Sleeping Beauty' and Poundland continue to work closely with shopping centres to open the last on the remaining stores.

Managing director, Barry Williams, said: "As an essential retailer, we’ve continued to support customers in hundreds of towns – especially those who manage their budgets week-to-week and find it difficult to bulk buy.

“And our store colleagues have done much more than their day-job. They’ve also played a vital role, delivering care packages to other frontline workers and those in need in their communities.

“But even though we’ve kept serving customers, we know we’re at our best as part of a vibrant thriving high street and that’s why we’re looking forward to our neighbours reopening in the coming weeks.

“Healthy town centres are the lifeblood of our economy and our communities. It may have been tough for many retailers before this crisis and it’s more important than ever that we make sure we encourage customers to say hi to their high streets as we return to business-as-unusual.”

Reopened Poundland stores will have robust health and safety measures in place as do all the stores that have remained open. Measures customers can expect to see include:

▪ Marshals at the door to limit the number of customers in store at any one time

▪ Floor markers to help customers maintain social distancing

▪ Perspex screens at manned checkouts to protect colleagues and customers

▪ The closure of every other self-checkout to make appropriate social distancing easier

▪ Rigorous hygiene routines that include colleagues washing their hands every 20 minutes and key surfaces being wiped down every hour.