Retailers announce temporary shut down to protect staff health
Apple, Oxfam and Nespresso are among the first retailers to announce they will be shutting their stores on a temporary basis in order to protect the health of their staff and shoppers as the coronavirus pandemic sweeps the country.
Apple announced that it was closing all of its stores outside of China until March 27, but that they may remain closed indefinitely, suggesting the retailer expects further disruption to its operations in the coming months.
Tim Cook, Apple’s chief executive, commented on the precaution in a blog post: “One of those lessons is that the most effective way to minimise risk of the virus’s transmission is to reduce density and maximise social distance. As rates of new infections continue to grow in other places, we’re taking additional steps to protect our team members and customers.”
Nespresso has announced temporary closure of its stores in a statement on its website, which said: “Given the evolving situation around Covid-19, we have taken the decision to temporarily close all of our Nespresso retail locations including our boutiques and those in our partner stores across UK & ROI.”
And Oxfam, which has around 600 high street shops in the UK has announced that it will close at the end of business on Saturday 21 March to protect the health of its staff, volunteers and customers, and remain shut until the risk reduces.
Oxfam’s deputy trading director, Anne Webb said: “It is with a heavy heart that we have decided to shut our shops until the danger of the coronavirus has eased. But it’s absolutely the right thing to do as the safety of our staff, volunteers and shoppers comes first. Some of our volunteers are elderly, and especially vulnerable to the infection, and we are acutely conscious of our responsibilities towards them.”