Primark will offer extended opening hours when it reopens its shops in England and Wales next week. 

The retailer is taking up the Government's offer of staying open for longer in an effort to reduce queues and give customers more space and time to shop safely. 

For the first week initially, stores will open for two extra hours per day on average, typically an hour earlier and later, with times varying by store.

Primark chief executive Paul Marchant said: “Safety remains at the front of our minds.

“We have extended opening hours across almost all of our stores to help meet demand safely but we’re also asking our customers to keep up the support and spirit they showed last year, particularly if queuing outside or in-store.”

Primark has now confirmed next week's opening hours for its shops in Essex. 

The stores in Southend, Basildon and Harlow will all be opening at 8am and closing at 7pm. 

The shop in Colchester will be open from 9am until 7pm. 

Early birds will be able to get their Primark fix from 6am on Monday at the store at Lakeside, which will be open until 11pm. 

The opening hours for the rest of the week will then be adjusted to 7am until 10pm. 

The Chelmsford branch will meanwhile be open between 7.30am and 7.30pm all next week.