The retailer said it would re-open all 36 of its outlets across the country from 1 December, once Government restrictions have been lifted.

All stores will have extended trading hours in order to meet pent up demand during the pre-Christmas period.

This will allow customers to spread shopping hours and reduce queuing it said.

“We are delighted to re-open our stores in Ireland on 1st December with longer shopping hours to give our customers more time to safely do their festive shopping,” said Penneys CEO, Paul Marchant.

Outlets in city centres and major shopping centres will stay open until 10pm on weekdays.

Shops in towns and town shopping centres will continue trading until 9pm on weekdays.

The outlets in the Blanchardstown Centre and Dundrum Town Centre will reopen at 7am on Tuesday and then remain open right through until 10pm on Wednesday night to help alleviate pressure.

The company said safety will be its number one priority and it will have extensive measures in place.

Among them will be strict social distancing rules, limits on the numbers of customers in store at one time, Perspex screens at tills, hand sanitisation stations and the compulsory use of face masks in store by staff and customers.

Stores have also been reconfigured to provide more space, while signage will be in place to guide customers through the shop. Additional cleaning will also take place.

A number of other large retailers are expected to follow suit and open for 24 hours at points between now and Christmas to help reduce pressure on customers and staff after six weeks of closure.

A spokesperson for Penneys said further 24 hour opening between now and Christmas hasn’t been ruled out, but no plans are in place yet.