POUNDLAND reopened a further 15 stores today - including the branch in Burnley.

The Burnley Charter Walk store is now open for customers to get their essentials.

It comes after 34 stores welcomed customers through their doors on Monday for the first time in weeks.

Poundland retail director Austin Cooke said: “We’ve been encouraged by the response from customers hearing about our stores coming out of hibernation this week.

"Our colleagues are glad to be back at work in their stores and we know customers are reassured by the protection measures we’ve put in place so their local Poundland can open again.

“We’re moving to reopen all hibernating Poundland stores steadily and carefully, making health and safety for customers and colleagues our top priority, just as we have in all the stores that continued to remain open throughout the last few weeks.”

Poundland has kept most of its stores open for essential shopping, but in March it placed one-in-nine stores in hibernation, largely where it had another store close by or was in a shopping centre that had difficulty remaining open.

Operation Sleeping Beauty was launched to reawaken stores that were temporarily closed.

The latest batch of stores stretches from the South West of England to the North East and includes stores in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Subject to agreeing final details with a handful of shopping centre landlords, Poundland intends to reopen the final batch of hibernating stores as early as next week.

Robust health and safety measures will operate as they do in all Poundland 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 maintain social distancing, Perspex screens and rigorous hygiene routines.

In normal times, Poundland attracts seven million shoppers a week to its stores across the UK, helping high streets thrive.