Penneys has announced that it will offer shopping by appointment as a temporary measure in all of its Irish stores in the week prior to full reopening.

The announcement comes after hundreds of customers queued outside Primark stores in Northern Ireland this morning as non-essential reopened there.

PSNI officers managed the crowds and moved people queuing to another street with more space for distancing.

In a statement this evening, Penneys said it is delighted to begin preparations to welcome customers back to its stores.

"We welcome the government's decision to introduce shopping by appointment as a first step having already launched this service successfully in some of our European markets.

"We will be offering shopping by appointment in every Irish store ahead of our full reopening on 17 May and have begun working through the logistics, starting with bringing our amazing store teams back to work."

The company said it will confirm timing and full details next week.