Wren Kitchens has reopened all of its showrooms and is seeing customers on an appointment only basis.
The move, which covers all 91 showrooms across the UK, has angered some independent kitchen and bathroom retailers who believe that government policy of no non-essential shops opening still applies.
Wren, however, insists that it is acting “in accordance with all Government guidelines and legislation” after consulting with the necessary authorities.
And if that is the case, for thousands of independents it raises the tantalising question of whether they can reopen showrooms on a similar basis and still be within the law.
“Over the past few weeks, Wren Kitchens has worked extensively with different regulatory bodies including our Primary Authority, and other Local Authorities to ensure that we could re-open our stores in a manner that is accordance with all Government guidelines and legislation,” a statement from Wren said.
“This has required a significant investment in the infrastructure within our stores, including unique twin desk planning stations, customer induction areas and sanitiser stations throughout. Aside from the physical infrastructure, we have invested in new processes and procedures which guarantee social distancing and will create what we believe to be the safest environment in which to purchase a kitchen.
“The new measures are designed to be unobtrusive and once inside a showroom our customers will benefit from an exclusive atmosphere with the attention of a dedicated kitchen designer at all times.”
Wren has produced a video explaining their social distancing measures to potential customers
The decision to open has angered many independent kitchen and bathroom retailers who believe that the law still requires them to keep their showrooms closed as, unlike homeware outlets such as B&Q and Homebase, they are still classed as non-essential stores regardless of any social distancing measures put in place.
The moves comes just weeks after Wren furloughed much of its workforce and made 100s more redundant in anticipation of a downturn in business.