Confusion reigns as KBB retailers seek clarification over lockdown measures

KBB retailers across England are calling for confirmation from the Government as to whether showrooms can remain open during the new month-long, nationwide lockdown that comes into force from Thursday, November 5.

The Government’s announcement of the latest national lockdown measures over the weekend included news that all “non-essential” retail outlets in England would have to close.

However, based on the lack of specific information and how the scenario played out during the last lockdown – when national KBB retailer Wren reopened its stores in May after getting full clearance from Trading Standards – KBB retailers are understandably confused and looking for guidance on the matter.

Following a statement from the BiKBBI, early this morning kbbreview was able to confirm that – because government guidelines on working in other people’s homes remain unchanged – KBB installations could carry on throughout the lockdown as long as they’re doing so within those rules.

Reacting to the news of of a new month-long lockdown, Paul Ballantyne (below right), managing director of Andover Bathroom Collection and member of the kbbreview100 initiative said: “It is still unclear as to how the lockdown will affect business. At the moment, we are carrying on as normal, keeping our clients informed as we go, until we know for sure if we can keep the showroom open.

“If it is confirmed that we are able to keep the showroom open, we will open on a ‘by appointment’ basis.”

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Also part of the kbbreview100, Emily Hyde (pictured below left), bathroom design director, Sanctuary Kitchens and Bathrooms added: “Based on current information yes, we plan to close the showroom. We will, however, reassess this as the Government advice is updated.

“If we can open within government guidelines, without any reservations on the clarity of this, we will do so. I do feel to open against clear government guidelines is bad PR, especially on our prominent high-street location when all other ‘non-essential’ shops are closed.”

Kbbreview has been in touch with the Government for clarification as to whether KBB showrooms will again be exempt from lockdown restrictions and able to operate. In the meantime, retailers are advised to refer to online guidance on the topic https://www.gov.uk/guidance/new-national-restrictions-from-5-november#businesses-and-venues

While awaiting confirmation, KBSA national chair Richard Hibbert offered KBB retailers the following advice: “We at the KBSA are feeling very confident that KBB independent businesses will be able to stay open and continue to install. We have written to the Government and will continue to offer advice to members and when the full guidance is available we will update everyone. In the meantime make sure all your procedures are up to date and you are prepared for all outcomes.”

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