November 24, 2020
KBB retailers in England will be able to open their showrooms once the lockdown restrictions are lifted on December 2, the Prime Minister has confirmed.
The situation for non-essential retail – which includes kitchen and bathroom showrooms – was outlined by Prime Minister Boris Johnson as he announced details of his post-lockdown plan.
Under the new guidelines, parts of the country will be placed into high-risk or very high-risk tiers, with stricter measures being introduced within those tiers.
However, the Covid-19 Winter Plan states that shops will be allowed to open in all areas of England, despite the introduction of tougher regional measures.
In response to the Prime Minister’s announcement that non-essential shops can re-open when lockdown ends on December 2, Richard Hibbert, KBSA national chair said:
“Our members will be pleased that they can re-open their showrooms once again. We will continue to support them moving forward, as we have done to date when dealing with uncertainties and changing legislation.
“We remain committed to ensuring a level playing field and working together with others in the interest of all independent retailers. We hope that 2021 will prove to be a better year for all retailers, with the news that several vaccines will be ready for roll out within the coming months.”
Retailer Mark Edwards, owner of House of Harrogate, also welcomed the news: “Thankfully we have been busier than ever, just been catching up on all social media leads, and using technology to get round any problems we might have had. Not sure where we would have been without it! So feeling very fortunate and lucky but also feeling really sorry for so many other businesses such as hospitality who are being treated so badly. Fingers crossed the vaccine works.”
Helen Dickinson OBE, chief executive of the British Retail Consortium (BRC), added: “Retailers will be relieved by the Government’s confirmation that all shops can reopen once the current restrictions are lifted. SAGE data has always highlighted that retail is a safe environment, and firms have spent hundreds of millions on safety measures including perspex screens, additional cleaning, and social distancing and will continue to follow all safety guidance. As a result, customers can be reassured that retail premises are Covid-secure and safe to visit over the festive period.
“Shops – from high streets to retail parks – play an integral role in the run up to Christmas. While retailers have stepped up their online delivery over the course of 2020, the bulk of Christmas shopping tends to be done in store. The Government’s decision to keep all of retail open will help to preserve jobs and the economy and help keep Christmas a festive occasion for everyone.”
When they do reopen after lockdown, retailers are advised to continue to operate in a Covid-19 secure manner.
This positive news comes just days after the industry was sent into a spin when, with just two weeks of the lockdown left, all KBB showrooms in England were told to close under shock new government rules.
Full details of the Government’s Covid-19 Winter Plan can be found here.
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