Kitchen and bathroom retailers in England CAN stay open during lockdown, kbbreview has learned.
The rules surrounding the lockdown – that kicks in at midnight tonight [November 4] – have been unclear since it was first announced at the weekend.
During the press conference announcing the new measures the Government said that ‘non-essential retail’ was required 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 were, understandably, left confused and looking for guidance.
However, the KBSA has now confirmed that showrooms can remain open when the new lockdown comes into force.
The advice follows the publication of both legislation and guidance regarding ‘non-essential’ retail. As with the previous lockdown, the government has stated that ‘hardware stores & builders merchants‘ are classed as essential retail.
KBSA national chair Richard Hibbert (pictured) said: “We have acted swiftly to clear any confusion, around the definition of ‘non- essential’ within the new legislation, and confirmed our position with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).
“The Government has stipulated that ‘hardware stores & builders merchants‘ are essential retail and this classification has been confirmed by BEIS for KBB retailers. This is related to the integral role that independent KBB retailers have within the construction industry (and the high percentage of retailers which pay into the Construction Industry Training Board).
“This is good news for independent retailers. A stop-start situation during this busy period, when projects are in hand for a Christmas completion, would have caused huge complications.
“Members are also being advised to ensure that they continue to operate in a Covid-19 secure manner, and we have a wealth of advice and support available to assist with this.
“Clearly all independent retailers must make their own decisions on remaining open, based on their own particular circumstances. The KBSA has clarified what is allowed under the legislation and guidelines for those that wish to open.”
“We remain committed to supporting members and the wider audience of independent retailers as they negotiate their way through this challenging period.”
Earlier this week, the British Institute of KBB Installation (BiKBBI) also updated its guidance to say that installers could still continue to operate in customers’ homes as long as social distancing rules were adhered to.
Have you heard the latest episode of The kbbreview Podcast ? It’s all about whether kbb retailers are choosing to open in the new lockdown and how they think it might affect business. Listen using the player below or search ‘kbbreview’ in your podcast app of choice…