Coronavirus poses a challenge for retailers, staff and customers. To continue to deliver the best service for customers, while protecting their customers and staff, retailers are taking a range of actions. We will be providing a daily summary of actions taken by individual retailers in response to the developing situation.
2nd july 2020
- Morrisons will reopen 320 of its cafés across England this Saturday.
1st july 2020
- John Lewis has today announced plans to reopen a further ten shops, including shops in Scotland and Wales. On Monday 13 July, John Lewis shops in Basingstoke, Cardiff, Chelmsford, Chester, Edinburgh, Exeter, Glasgow, Stratford and the Trafford Centre will reopen. Oxford Street will open on Thursday 16th July. More information.
29th june 2020
- Caffè Nero will open 400 stores for eat-in from 4 July. The stores will open with protocols in place to ensure its employees and customers remain safe and in accordance with government advice and social distancing guidance.
- Waitrose has announced plans for a third online fulfilment centre to increase the availability of delivery slots in the capital. The centre in Greenford, West London, could open by December, meaning London shoppers will have the potential to choose from four-times as many Waitrose.com delivery slots compared to the start of the year. More information.
22nd june 2020
- DFS will reopen all its stores in Scotland and Wales today, completing the company's phased store opening plan across the UK. All reopened showrooms are implementing additional safety measures in line with Government and BRC guidance. Customers can continue to shop as normal, but an appointment service has also been introduced for people who want to make their store visit as quick and effective as possible.
- John Lewis will open nine more shops on Thursday (25 June), following opening of initial 13 shops last week. More information.
19th june 2020
- Caffé Nero gave away over 35,000 free coffees throughout May and the first two weeks of June to NHS staff.
18th june 2020
- M&S announced reopening of a further 47 cafés for takeaway only, bringing the total number to 95 across UK & Ireland.
- M&S has resumed its ‘Food to Order’ service.
- M&S has reopened a further 14 M&S Bank branches to customers.
16th june 2020
- Co-op’s £3 face coverings have seen a surge in demand and have quickly become the fastest selling item, outselling everyday essentials such as milk, eggs and bread on its busiest day. Co-op has now secured millions of more stock to meet demand and the range will shortly be available online in selected areas.
- The Perfume Shop is reopening its stores throughout this week. More information.
15th june 2020
- Ann Summers has opened its store in Birmingham's Bullring today. The retailer has selected stores to re-open this week as part of its phased plan and will reopen a store per day. The retailer will observe the store flow, customer safety measures and store experience before a full roll out plan in the coming weeks, which will aim to open approximately 30 stores per week. More information.
- Argos has reopened 145 of its standalone shops today. More information.
- Crew Clothing is re-opening 21 stores from today. Several new safety procedures have been put in place, including but not limited to shorter trading hours, payment screens, 2-metre floor markers, enhanced cleaning routines, complimentary hand sanitiser stations and limited capacity in small stores. More information.
- Debenhams has today reopened 50 stores in England. More information.
- Fenwicks has reopened today, with all nine stores trading.
- F Hinds has begun reopening stores today and expect all stores to be open by tomorrow. They have implemented a comprehensive system of safety measures. More information.
- Hmv have opened all its stores in England today, and all its stores opened on Saturday in Belfast.
- John Lewis has opened two shops today, Poole and Kingston, with robust social distancing measures in place, ahead of a further 11 reopenings planned on Thursday.
- M&S has reopened most of its Clothing & Home space in England, including 25 outlet stores. A series of measures are in place in all stores to protect customers and allow them to shop with confidence.
- Poundland stores are open with the necessary safety measures in place and to ensure both colleagues and customers look out for each other. The last of its closed stores will be reopen by the end of the month.
- Primark has re-opened all its 153 stores in England today, with employee and customer safety the highest priority. More information.
- Space NK has today reopened 11 stores as part of its phased reopening plan. Initially, the retailer is concentrating on its neighbourhood locations. More information.
12th june 2020
Dixons Carphone will begin phased reopening of its 153 UK stores from 15 June. More information.
- notonthehighstreet.com has released a report which demonstrates that over half of smaller businesses in the UK say they are at risk of closing in the next 12 months – but small business on their online marketplace see best sales on record.
11th june 2020
- Fenwick is ready to welcome customers back to all its stores from Monday 15 June
- F. Hinds and Chapelle will reopen their 119 stores in England on Tuesday 16th June. They are implementing a comprehensive plan for keep customers and staff safe.
- McDonald’s UK & Ireland has announced it will begin reopening for takeaway and click and collect, starting with 11 pilot restaurants on 17th June before gradually rolling this out to high streets, towns and city centres from 24th June onwards. The brand also announced a further 571 restaurants that will be switching McDelivery back on this week.
- Morrisons is to extend the 10% discount that NHS workers receive on their grocery shop until the end of September.
- M&S will open all 25 M&S Outlets in England on Monday 15 June.
8th june 2020
- M&S has shared what items will be on offer in store from 15 June including childrenswear, summer clothing and activewear.
Pret will re-open their 10 Veggie Pret shops in London and Manchester on Thursday 11 June, and will also launch a new delivery service, in partnership with Deliveroo.
5th june 2020
- Debenhams will reopen its first stores in NI on Monday, followed by 50 shops in England on 15 June.
2nd june 2020
- Primark is working to re-open all of its 153 stores in England on 15 June following the recent announcement by the UK Government. They will implement a strict social distancing protocol, provide personal protection for employees and customers and increase in-store cleaning. More information can be found here.
1st june 2020
- M&S has reopened five of their Bank branches: Leeds, Gateshead Metro Centre, Handforth Dean, Cribbs Causeway and Culverhouse Cross. Each brand is open 09:30 – 14:30 Monday – Friday.
29th may 2020
- DFS has re-opened 88 more showrooms in England in the next stage of phased re-opening plan following a successful test and learn period in three stores. All reopened showrooms will be operating with extensive new processes and safety measures in place in line with Government and British Retail Consortium guidance.
- Pret has announced it will open 204 more shops on 1 June for takeaway and delivery, including locations in Newcastle, Liverpool, Exeter, Bournemouth and Bath.
- Morrisons has launched a £20 next-day delivery flowers service so customers can send their family and friends a bouquet direct to their door during the lockdown.
28th may 2020
- McDonald’s UK & Ireland will be reopening all of their Drive Thru restaurants by 4th June, and will start to expand the availability of McDelivery too.
27th may 2020
- Company Shop Group and Chill Factore have partnered to put the UK’s longest indoor ski slope to a new use. The ski slope is being used as storage to save thousands of items of edible food from going to waste.
- John Lewis will begin to reopen its shops as part of gradual approach from 15 June, starting with its Poole and Kingston department stores, followed by 11 others on 18 June. More information.
26th may 2020
- Aldi is implementing a new automated traffic light system at entrances starting from this week to control the number of customers going in and out of stores.
- Poundland will re-open another 26 stores this week after reopening 51 so far. Poundland is now working closely with shopping centre landlords to reopen the last of its closed stores.
22nd may 2020
- DFS will open three of their showrooms in Bolton, Leicester and Milton Keynes today. This is following updated government guidance that now allows homeware stores to re-open, and as part of the retailers’ phased re-opening plan. Further stores will re-open from 29 May onwards. Limited deliveries from all DFS' distribution centres in England have also restarted.
- Morrisons is offering safe spaces where victims of domestic abuse can contact support services. From Monday, consulting rooms in pharmacies in 117 stores will be designated safe spaces where specially trained pharmacists can direct those seeking help to the support they need. More information.
21st may 2020
- Dixons Carphone has partnered with Age UK and has today announced that it has provided free tablets, connectivity and a dedicated technology support phone line to help hundreds of vulnerable older people from feeling lonely and isolated during the pandemic. More information.
20th may 2020
- Caffé Nero has announced a partnership with Uber Eats to launch delivery for the first time in the UK. By the end of May, there will be over 40 stores offering delivery. That number will expand as the retailer continues to reopen stores.
- McDonald’s UK & Ireland have announced the locations of restaurants that will be reopening their Drive-Thru lanes today, operating from 11:00 - 22:00. More information.
- Post Office has seen a 30% increase in its fast-track mail service use during the coronavirus pandemic. A new feature allows users to sign up online and use their account instantly. More information.
19th may 2020
- Waitrose is launching a new ad campaign in collaboration with ITV to support the Government's 'Pick for Britain' initiative, aiming to recruit part of the 70,000 pickers the UK needs this year.
- Scotland’s First Minister has pledged to unveil her lockdown exit plan on Thursday, and garden centres in Scotland may be able to re-open from 28 May. More information.
18th may 2020
- Aldi is trialling on-demand grocery home delivery in the UK for the first time in partnership with Deliveroo.
- Morrisons will re-open its Pie Shop Counters this week.
15th may 2020
- eBay has extended their offer to small businesses joining the platform of a ‘free online shop window’ for a further two months (until the end of July or for 90 days after registration). More information.
- John Lewis Partnership has announced that it will donate a further £1.4m to 3,000 local charities who are helping those who are most in need and who have existing relationships with Waitrose and John Lewis shops. £500,000 will go into a new fund called ‘Your Partners Through It All Community Fund’. More information.
- John Lewis Partnership will begin selling a limited-edition china mug (£8), which was designed in-house on their website and in 264 Waitrose branches. All profits will go to NHS Charities Together. More information.
- Sainsbury’s is rolling out Chop Chop to 20 cities across the country, bringing fast grocery deliveries by bike to customers outside of London for the first time. Once the 50-store roll out is completed, around 3.2 million households will be able to get Sainsbury’s groceries delivered directly to their door within an hour, offering customers who are self-isolating or less able to travel to stores another way to get what they need. More information.
14th may 2020
- Co-op has launched a nationwide payment solution and volunteer matching support scheme to get groceries delivered to those that are self-isolating. By working with Local Authorities and local community groups across the country, Co-op can connect customers with a volunteer to shop and deliver food supplies, whilst using a secure payment solution. Customers can purchase a Co-op community shopping card on the dedicated telephone line (08000 294 592).
- Morrisons has re-opened its pizza counters.
- M&S will today re-open 49 café locations across the UK. The cafés will be open for take away hot drinks only. The 49 chosen are those where the café is located next to a M&S food hall.
- M&S is starting a Rainbow sale and will donate 10% of the purchase price, excluding VAT, of all Rainbow sale items to NHS Charities Together. Customers can shop online, on the app of in-store. The sale will include all clothing departments, with at least 50% off all items.
- Poundland is reopening its 100 temporarily closed stores with robust health and safety measures in place. 30 will reopen on Monday 18 May. In March, Poundland temporarily closed one-in-nine stores – mainly where there was another store nearby or if it was in a shopping centre that had difficulty remaining open.
13th may 2020
- McDonald's announces next stage of reopening, including its intention to reopen all drive-thru restaurants in the UK and Ireland by early June. More information.
- Morrisons is introducing Speedy Shopping for customers doing smaller ‘basket shops’ so they can get in store and complete their shop quicker. A new separate Speedy Shopping lane will be introduced outside of all Morrisons stores and three Speedy Shopping customers will be invited in for every Big Shop trolley shopper. Clear signage and Morrisons marshals will help customers choose a Speedy Shopping or Big Shop queue.
12th may 2020
- Caffé Nero will open 33 stores in the UK across this week and next week as a part of its take-away only trial. 14 of those will open this week. All the Baristas in these stores are volunteers who wanted to return to work. All stores are offering free hot drinks to all NHS staff throughout May.
- M&S have added a Made Without Wheat Essentials Box to their online food box range to cater for customers with gluten or wheat intolerances.
- Morrisons have launched a new British Farmers Food Box. The Food Box includes seven packs of meat, two blocks of cheese, four pints of milk, a block of butter, a kilo of potatoes and five packs of British vegetables. It has been created to help British farmers sell through their produce, which would typically be destined for the restaurant trade. £1 from every box will be donated to farming charities through The Prince’s Countryside Fund.
- Starbucks is to reopen about 150 UK stores from Thursday in the first phase of its reopening plans. It will focus on drive-through outlets, plus a handful of takeaway-only stores. More information.
11th may 2020
- Welsh Government announced that garden centres can re-open from today. More information.
7th may 2020
- Pret plans to reopen further shops both across and outside of London, for takeaway and delivery on 11th May, bringing the total number of reopened shops to over 100.
- Next is further developing its Beauty business by signing new flexible leases with landlord Hammerson, in order to trade five former Debenhams beauty departments as standalone NEXT beauty halls, trading as “The Beauty Hall from NEXT”.
6th may 2020
- Costa Coffee have re-opened a small number of Drive-Thru lanes and delivery stores. The Drive-Thru lanes are near large hospitals. The delivery stores allow customers to order via Uber Eats.
- McDonalds has published an initial list of restaurants which will re-open for delivery only from 11:00 from 13 May. More information.
- M&S has launched a food redistribution app to all stores – supporting donations of over one million meals during the coronavirus crisis.
- Waitrose is opening a six-acre Customer Fulfilment Centre in Enfield, North London, to double its online grocery orders in the capital by September. More information.
4th may 2020
- Morrisons and Deliveroo will offer a greater range that will for the first time include beer and wine. This will be available to customers at the same price as Morrisons supermarkets on the Deliveroo app.
- Morrisons customers will be able to order a celebratory afternoon tea box to commemorate the 75th anniversary of VE Day this Bank Holiday Friday. Priced at £15, the box will include scones, cakes, champagne truffles, clotted cream, jam, ingredients to make sandwiches and tea for two.
1st may 2020
- Boots pharmacies will offer safe spaces for victims of domestic abuse where they can access specialist domestic abuse services for support and advice.
- Pret has opened 20 more locations around London for takeaway and delivery.
30th APRIL 2020
- Morrisons is to sell restaurant quality steaks, fish and shellfish for half price on its new summer Steak and Seafood Bars, which will open today.
- M&S are accepting the £15 food vouchers issued as part of the government's free school meals scheme in England while schools are closed.
29th APRIL 2020
- Aldi will be providing the option of face masks to all its store-based colleagues.
- McDonald’s has provided an update on its reopening plans and the measures that will be tested in a test phase this week. Please find full statement from CEO Paul Pomroy
- Specsavers have launched a new online service where customers can have their eyes checked via video consultation. More information.
- Scottish Government has published new guidance on facial coverings. More information.
28th APRIL 2020
- Aldi has introduced a voucher scheme to make it easier for volunteers to buy food on behalf of the vulnerable and those self-isolating. The vouchers are available to buy on vouchers.aldi.co.uk. Once purchased, the vouchers can be posted to any address in the UK so they can be given to volunteers, friends or family members to shop on their behalf. Vouchers are available in denominations of £5.00 and £10.00.
- B&Q have released a film demonstrating the new social distancing measures in store. More information.
- Greggs will begin opening shops on 4 May in Newcastle as part of a controlled trial, with more to follow.
- McDonald's drive-thru restaurant in Leicester will be used by DHU Healthcare for coronavirus testing for NHS workers.
- M&S are launching a six-week TV, digital and in-store campaign to encourage support for British farmers – including ‘farmer cam’ footage on their website and social channels with interviews from farmers and growers across the country.
- M&S are reinforcing their commitment to sourcing meat, farmed fish, poultry, dairy and fruit, veg and horticulture and will move to 100% British lamb by June.
- M&S have implemented new sales initiatives to help drive increased volume for farmers, including the 100% British meat food box and introduction of bedding plants.
27th APRIL 2020
- Aldi is providing financial support to Age UK to fund their essential work for older people in the community and are continuing to support their long-term partner Neighbourly to redistribute food to those who need it most.
- Aldi have signed up to the Government’s voucher scheme, which is supporting children eligible for free school meals during the outbreak. Families that receive vouchers can redeem them in any Aldi store.
- BRC published social distancing guidelines for the re-opening of stores. More information.
- Scottish Government confirmed that frontline retail staff in pharmacies, supermarkets and grocery stores – as well as their suppliers - who are self-isolating can be referred by their employers for national testing for coronavirus. More information.
24th APRIL 2020
- Morrisons is giving its 2,700 farmers a 5% discount to say thank you. Eligible farmers include livestock suppliers supplying lamb, beef and pork into Morrisons; egg farmers supplying Morrisons directly; dairy farmers with a Morrisons contract and fruit and vegetable growers supplying Morrisons directly. More information.
- Morrisons will open a summer ‘BBQ and Steak Bar’ as well a ‘BBQ and Seafood Bar’ next week to help struggling British farmers and fishermen by offering customers a wider selection of steaks, joints and seafood. More information.
- M&S launched a range of ‘All in this Together’ T-shirts yesterday, which became their fastest ever selling T-shirt. More t-shirts will be available next week, with all profits going to NHS Charities Together. More information.
- M&S have launched a new online platform so customers can donate any amount to the Neighbourly Community Fund. More information.
- Sainsburys have extended their opening hours. By Monday, most supermarkets will be open from 08:00 – 22:00, and many Convenience stores will be open until 22:00 or 23:00. Check the latest opening hours in your local area before shopping.
- Sainsburys are installing Perspex safety screens in their petrol filling station stores which will start to re-open from next week.
- Sainsburys are installing additional protective screens between manned checkouts. This will mean the retailer can open far more manned checkouts in the stores which have them. These will be installed over the next couple of weeks. More information.
23rd APRIL 2020
- eBay is working with teams in the NHS Supply Chain, the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) and the Army/MoD, to create a new online portal to help ease some of the PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) supply issues currently facing the medical community. The new portal, which is currently in a pilot phase, aims to help primary and social care providers to order PPE from NHS Supply Chain. More information.
- John Lewis and Waitrose are today launching a soft toy design competition for children around the UK to raise funds for the NHS. The retailer is inviting children (and adults) to create and share their designs for a “super-bear” cuddly toy that celebrates the spirit and fortitude of those working on the frontline. The winning design will be turned into an exclusive Christmas toy and sold by Waitrose and John Lewis from October. More information.
- Primark endorses yesterday’s announcement from the UN’s International Labour Organisation calling for urgent collaboration between stakeholders to support garment industry workers across the world affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. Primark has been working closely with the ILO and its own suppliers to help determine a constructive way for stakeholders to collaboratively deliver the necessary support to those affected by the crisis.
22nd APRIL 2020
- Asda has extended its Scan & Go Mobile offering to all 581 stores, in order to further support social distancing measures for customers. From today, the mobile service is live in every store, with customers able to download the app on their phone and use it to scan and pack their groceries as they shop. More information.
- Co-op Insurance released a study today to suggest that Government measures to stay at home have led to a surge in neighbourliness as people look out for the vulnerable and talk to their neighbours more than ever before. More information.
- Scottish Government has enshrined the two-metre distancing rule in legislation. More information.
21st APRIL 2020
- Morrisons launches Ramadan essentials food box. The new ‘Ramadan Essentials Box’ is being launched as Muslim customers prepare for a month of religious observation, due to start later this week. The box includes core staples such as dates and chicken breast fillets, making Ramadan at home easier for customers. More information.
- M&S has extended its care package offering and are now delivering these packages to patients in the NHS Nightingale Hospital in Belfast, NHS Louisa Jordan Hospital in Glasgow, Ysbyty Calon y Ddraig (The Dragon’s Heart Hospital) in Cardiff and the NHS Nightingale Hospital in Birmingham. Each package contains a t-shirt, jumper, joggers, underwear and socks.
- Sainsbury's has launched Volunteer Shopping Cards – enabling others to shop on behalf of the elderly, disabled and vulnerable among other customers who can’t shop for themselves. More information.
20th APRIL 2020
- ASDA’s pharmacies will offer free prescription delivery service during coronavirus outbreak. More information.
- Co-op CEO Steve Murrells is directing his own income to kick-start a Co-op Members Fund, which will be channelled into foodbanks, a funeral hardship fund and front-line community causes. More information.
- Fenwick is supporting its local communities during the coronavirus crisis by partnering with Street Zero, donating to Citylife Line, providing drivers for Fare Share and using its supply base to source PPE kits for council care homes and key workers.
- HMRC has opened the portal for firms to claim wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. This allows employers to claim up to 80% of furloughed employees' wages. More Information.
17th APRIL 2020
- Aldi will sell ambient food parcels on its website from today to help vulnerable people and those self-isolating. The parcels will be for home delivery and contain 22 products including tinned soup, rice and pasta. Each parcel will also include antibacterial handwash and a four-pack of toilet roll. They will retail at £24.99 inclusive of delivery and will be limited to one per customer. The move marks the first time Aldi UK has sold groceries online.
- Morrisons and Kellogg’s have partnered with Magic Breakfast to provide 200,000 boxes of cereal to over 12,000 schoolchildren during the lockdown. In the coming weeks, Magic Breakfast will arrange deliveries of breakfast food to alternative distribution sites (nominated by schools), where schools are closed, and will be working with delivery partners and volunteers to deliver breakfast packs for children to their homes.
- M&S have added three new online Food Box options to help customers get more of the products they need and to support those who can’t easily visit stores. New options include a Mixed Vegetable Box (£15), a Mixed Select Vegetable Box (£17) and a Seasonal Fruit Box (£20).
- M&S are now using capacity from their Clothing & Home distribution network to help support the Food business in providing online solutions for customers. Over the last week, the M&S Distribution Centre at Castle Donington have despatched 2,500 boxes a day and priority access has been given to customers over 70 (identified via Sparks).
- M&S are introducing new Bags for Life in their Food halls. The retailer will donate 100% of profits to NHS Charities Together. The bags feature a rainbow and heart design and a ‘thank you’ message to show appreciation for NHS workers.
- M&S are enabling customers to donate to NHS charities at till points from tomorrow.
- Primark care packs, containing more than 400,000 everyday products, will be delivered to frontline workers, volunteers and patients in cities and towns around the world where Primark has stores. Over 150,000 products have already been donated in the UK.
- Primark is donating care packs filled with 74,000 products including underwear, leggings, t-shirts, footwear and towels for NHS frontline staff working at the NHS Nightingale Hospital in London, boxed and delivered by Primark volunteers.
- Primark donated thousands of care packages to the London Ambulance Service and NHS staff at Great Western Hospitals in Swindon, Birmingham’s Women’s Hospital, Birmingham’s Children’s Hospital, Kings College Hospital in London, and Hillingdon Hospital in London.
- Primark donated 6,000 products including water bottles and tissues to NHS call centres across Scotland, with 900 sets of pyjamas, toiletries and underwear sent to staff and patients at NHS Dumfries & Galloway.
- Waitrose has announced that from today, the number of delivery slots available each week will more than treble, giving over 2.5 million households the option to use the service to get the food and essentials they need. The supermarket also confirmed that by the end of next week at least 40% of these new slots will be reserved exclusively for the elderly and vulnerable. More information.
- Waitrose has announced that it will offer an additional 10,000 online grocery collection slots, taking the total number available each week to 30,000, by introducing its online collection service in around 70 additional shops across the UK by the end of May. More information.
- The Treasury announced that businesses that turnover more than £500m can now apply for government-backed support. Loans to medium and larger firms will now also be included in its £330bn coronavirus support package for the economy. More information.
16th APRIL 2020
- Burger King is to reopen four restaurants: two in Bristol, one in Coventry, and one in Swindon, after having reviewed its processes, menu and operations to ensure the safety of its staff, partners and customers. This includes new guidelines for restaurants on how to run delivery-only kitchens hygienically whilst abiding by social distancing, contactless delivery options and stringent cleaning procedures.
- Co-op have lifted their temporary limits on all products except eggs and hand sanitisers.
- Co-op pulled its Easter TV advertising campaign, which was originally promoting its chocolate eggs, and donated the airtime – worth £2.5 million – to fight hunger by promoting the work of charity, FareShare. The new charity TV ad is a tribute to those who are playing their part in feeding the nation and encourages customers to support food banks, which will boost the £1.5 million of food Co-op has already pledged to FareShare.
- Fenwick has re-opened its online channel, with an edited offer. Following significant changes to the way in which orders are picked and packed, and with a volunteer workforce in place, the website has begun to take new orders. It is also processing, and despatching orders received prior to the original closure.
- KFC has reopened 11 UK restaurants in the past week for delivery only, with a limited menu. The restaurants are in Aldershot, Birmingham, Glasgow, Ipswich, London, Manchester, Portsmouth, Stockport, and Tamworth.
- Pret has reopened 10 shop kitchens located near hospitals, which will be available for takeaway and delivery only. This is in response to requests from local NHS workers and hospitals. More information.
- Pret will be donating 7,000 additional meals per week to their homeless charity partners. More information.
- Waitrose has today launched several initiatives to support its most vulnerable suppliers. The retailer has: injected £200K into Waitrose Foundation communities in Africa and Central America; continued its commitment to source 100% British across all its fresh and frozen beef, chicken, pork, milk and eggs; taken additional stock to help small businesses bring their products to market and provided quicker payments to its smallest and most vulnerable suppliers ensuring they are paid within a minimum of 7 days. More information.
15th APRIL 2020
- Morrisons is announcing a 10% discount on shopping for all NHS workers to support them through the pandemic. The 10% discount, which comes into effect from Thursday, is a thank you to the 1.5 million National Health Service workers. It will last until July 12th when it will be reviewed. To get the discount, NHS workers just need to present a valid ID card. More information.
- M&S Bank temporarily won’t charge interest on the first £500 of overdraft borrowing for M&S Current Account customers (normally £250) for three months. It will also temporarily only charge 19.9% EAR (variable) for any arranged overdraft balance greater than £500.
- Scottish Government has implemented second phase of funding against effects of coronavirus. Around £220 million of further grants are being made available for businesses - including the recently self-employed - to help them deal with the ongoing impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. More information.
14th APRIL 2020
- Aldi is extending its priority shopping arrangements for key workers. All those entitled to a Blue Light card, including social care workers, first responders and St John’s Ambulance staff now join people working for the NHS, Police and Fire Service in having exclusive access to stores 30 minutes before normal opening on Sundays. They will all continue to have priority access to Aldi stores around the clock.
- Aldi has removed all product restrictions.
- Aldi is extending its opening hours until 10pm at almost all stores from today. Customers are encouraged to shop later in the day when the store is quieter. Stores will continue to operate normal Sunday opening hours.
- Morrisons Foundation has set aside a £500,000 fund over the next three months to help charities offer additional protection, services and support to the homeless as a result of coronavirus. Charities can apply online for grants of up to £10,000 at morrisonsfoundation.com and successful applications will be fast tracked for payment. More information.
- Morrisons is today announcing a new telesales shopping service aimed specifically at helping to ensure vulnerable and elderly people can get the groceries they need. The new service will allow customers to order from a list of 47 essential grocery items including milk, eggs, potatoes and pasta over the phone that will then be delivered to their homes the following day.
- Next will partially re-open its Online services after implementing extensive safety measures and consulting colleagues and Usdaw. Initially, only categories that customers most need will be offered, such as Childrenswear and selected small Home items. Other product ranges may be added later. More information.
- John Lewis is transforming and adapting its in-store services and taking them online for the first time to meet the evolving needs of Britain in isolation. The free and bookable, advice-driven appointments will enable the retailer to provide core services. The initial launch will include virtual nursery, home design and personal styling advice with further services, inspirational talks and learning sessions planned to launch at the end of April.
9th APRIL 2020
- Boots announced it will temporarily close 60 stores by next Wednesday (of around 2,400). Most stores are in city centres or shopping centres which are typically a few minutes from other Boots’ stores and will help maintain staff at their busier stores. More information.
- Morrisons is joining up with Deliveroo to offer grocery home delivery. More information.
- Morrisons is dramatically increasing production and delivery of food boxes aimed at vulnerable and self-isolating people. Two weeks ago, the retailer produced 10,000 Food Boxes to be sent for next day delivery to customers’ homes. By next week the number will have increased to over 100,000 per week as Morrisons started production at three new sites.
- Morrisons is also launching two new boxes: ‘Morrisons Market Kitchen Meal Box’ (£30) and includes eight ready meals, and The Morrisons British ‘Meat’ Box (£45) which is filled with enough meat for over 38 meals. Morrisons has started delivering them to local hospitals, care homes and sheltered accommodation for NHS and care workers.
- M&S is donating thousands of specially branded t-shirts to form part of the uniform pack for the NHS Nightingale frontline team in London.
- M&S is sourcing, packing and delivering individual clothing care packs as a donation to NHS Nightingale London to help provide comfort and dignity for discharged patients.
- M&S is donating over 4,000 pyjamas to be used as scrubs to NHS Derbyshire.
- M&S Food will start, as of next week, a new, twice-weekly free food delivery service for the NHS workers at M&S’s longstanding hospital partners at St Mary’s Hospital, Paddington and Great Ormond Street Hospital.
- M&S is donating to the NHS Charities Together COVID-19 Urgent Appeal and has enabled customers to select the appeal as their Sparks charity.
- SPAR stores in England will be the first to partner with the Royal Voluntary Service on its NHS Volunteer Responders programme. Over 750,000 people signed up to be an NHS Volunteer Responder and from this week Community Response Volunteers will be able to shop for the vulnerable person they are supporting at over 700 SPAR stores in England.
- John Lewis Partnership is installing a wellbeing area for medical staff and volunteers at the Nightingale NHS Hospital. The space will be the only area within the main section of the hospital that is specifically designed for all staff to have a place of sanctuary. More information.
- John Lewis Partnership has partnered with the British Medical Association (BMA) to distribute care packages for frontline NHS workers at the busiest hospitals across the UK. From 9 April, the retailer will start making 400 deliveries of essential items to help NHS staff feel refreshed and energised during long shifts. More information.
- John Lewis Partnership is accommodating on-call NHS key workers on its Leckford Estate in Hampshire. It is hosting key medical staff who need to be near the hospital in lodges which are usually used as holiday homes for Partners. The NHS staff are primarily key workers at The Royal County Hampshire Hospital in Winchester. More information.
8th APRIL 2020
- Co-op is listing The Big Issue across its 2,600 outlets to support the Magazine and its vendors as selling on the streets has stopped in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis. The Big Issue is sold by some of the UK’s most vulnerable people to lift themselves out of poverty.
- Lidl is rolling out new customer cleaning stations to all its stores. These will be located close to store entrances and will include hand sanitiser along with disinfectant and wipes, for customers to use on their trolleys and baskets.
- M&S treated NHS/Emergency works to free Easter Eggs yesterday morning.
- Primark has announced a fund to support the payment of workers’ wages for orders that were in production for the company. Primark is working with its suppliers, factories and partners to make sure the workers in its supply chain are paid.
- Sainsbury’s has identified an additional 150,000 elderly or vulnerable customers (to last week’s 450,000). The retailer has already contacted 30,000 of these and are in the process of contacting a further 120,000 to offer them a priority slot.
- Sainsbury’s are waiting for the databases for Scotland and Northern Ireland and will contact vulnerable customers in those areas as soon as they can.
- Sainsbury’s will be introducing a new volunteer gift card and online voucher in the next week or two.
- Sainsbury’s have donated £3 million to Fareshare, who will use that money to distribute donated food to the people who need it the most. The retailer is also partnering with Comic Relief and the BBC on The Big Night In which aims to raise money for people impacted by COVID 19.
- Waitrose has launched a dedicated e-gift card for self-isolating customers who want to organise payment for groceries delivered by volunteers, friends or other family members. Customers unable to get to the shops themselves can buy an e-gift card online at www.johnlewisgiftcard.com which can be emailed directly to friends, neighbours and volunteers to use on their behalf in Waitrose & Partners shops. More information.
- BEIS have updated its social distancing guidance for businesses including for retail shops, home deliveries and click-and-collect. More information.
7th APRIL 2020
- Costcutter Supermarkets Group (CSG), in partnership with Compass Group UK&I has opened temporary pop-up stores in 20 NHS hospitals in England following the temporary closure of some retail units across the sites. The new pop up stores will provide NHS key workers with access to everyday essentials.
- Costcutter Supermarkets Group (CSG) has invested in comprehensive social distancing guidance and funded floor signage to support its independent retailers, who operate the groups’ 1,500 convenience stores. CSG has also worked with suppliers to source Perspex screens for independent retailers to order via the group and, has developed social media content and in-store point-of-sale materials for retailers, in order to help communicate social distancing to their shoppers.
- M&S are advising their customers, where possible, to use their ‘Mobile Pay Go’ checkout free technology. The Mobile Pay Go service has expanded to a further 50 stores, meaning there are now 100 stores that offer the checkout free technology. More information.
- M&S are asking their customers to refrain from scanning their Sparks card in-store, and to instead use their online tool to automatically add the points to their account up to 90 days from their shopping trip. More information.
- M&S have further increased their hygiene measures and are now cleaning trolleys and baskets every hour.
- Primark has moved to the UK Government's Job Retention Scheme, meaning its retail employees will receive 80% of earnings. In addition the company has introduced temporary salary reductions for the next 12 weeks as follows: 50% salary reduction for CEO Paul Marchant, 30% salary reduction for senior leadership, 20% salary reduction for senior executives, and a 10% reduction for the remainder of employees in its headquarters and office functions in Ireland and the UK. All employees who are on incentive schemes will not be receiving any bonuses this year.
- The Scottish Government has published the details of its 100% rates holiday for retailers for the coming year and how State Aid does not apply. More information.
6th APRIL 2020
- Aldi has lifted all restrictions on all products except for hand wash (max of four), shower gel (max of four) and UHT milk (max of two).
- Aldi is introducing new priority shopping hours for elderly or vulnerable customers who have no option but to visit stores. These customers will have exclusive access 30 minutes before normal opening times, Monday to Saturday.
- Aldi continues to reserve the early opening on Sundays for NHS and emergency workers.
- John Lewis Partnership has announced that all non-management Partners and first level managers working from 12 April will receive a recognition award of £25 for each week worked in May and June (£200 in total). In addition, from this week, the Partner discount rate for all Partners who shop in Waitrose shops will rise from 15% to 25% for thirteen weeks before returning to a permanently higher level of 20%. More information.
- Public Health England has published its latest guidance on the use of face masks here.
- On Saturday the Scottish Government published updated guidance on social distancing in the workplace. More information.
- The Welsh Government is expected to publish updated guidance on social distancing tomorrow. More information.
3rd APRIL 2020
Asda have launched a ‘volunteer card’ scheme where a customer can assign a volunteer to do their shopping for them and deliver to their door. The customer can pre-load an online voucher which their designated volunteer can use to pay in store.
DFS Group (including DFS, Sofology, dwell and Sofa Workshop) are supporting several hospitals across the UK by donating sofas and sofa beds, so NHS workers have some home comforts and a well-earned place to rest during their shifts.
- M&S has introduced a new payment initiative to make volunteer shopping easier. Self-isolating customers can purchase the “We’re All in this Together E-Gift Card” online and load credit. The card’s barcode will then be sent via email to the customer or volunteer for them to use in store.
- M&S are extending their NHS and Emergency Service workers hour to health and social care workers on Tuesday and Friday mornings for the first hour of trade. They must show their Care Quality Commission ID. More information.
- Morrisons is launching a food box for NHS staff that will be available from hospital car parks to allow workers easy access to essential groceries. The first click and collect service launched yesterday at St James's Hospital and Leeds General Infirmary. NHS staff can place their orders via a dedicated website, with collections on Monday and Thursday between 06:00 – 08:00 for night shifts and 16:00 – 18:00 for day shifts. Boxes are £30. More information.
- Morrisons thanks its colleagues with threefold increase in bonus for next 12 months. Full time colleagues will earn a bonus of £1,050 compared to around £350 average last year. More information.
- Sainsbury’s will start to remove limits on products from Sunday. Limits will remain in place on the most popular items (including UHT milk, pasta and tinned tomatoes).
- Sainsbury’s are continuing to prioritise elderly and vulnerable customers for online delivery slots. In total, the retailer has offered priority booking to more than 450,000 elderly or vulnerable customers.
- Sainsbury’s are expanding their online grocery service. Two weeks ago they had 370,000 online grocery slots available. By the end of next week, the retailer will have increased this to 600,000 across home delivery and click and collect and will continue to add more capacity.
- Sainsbury’s are asking the public to only send one adult per household to stores. Children are welcome if they are not able to stay at home.
- Sainsbury’s will have screens across all manned checkouts in every supermarket, convenience store and Argos collection point, in the next few days.
2nd APRIL 2020
- Aldi is further easing its product restrictions in store – from today restrictions have been lifted on beers, wines and spirits as well as nappies. More information.
- Aldi is donating almost half a million Easter eggs to charities throughout the UK to spread some much-needed cheer.
- Aldi will increase their contactless card limit to £45 as of Monday 6
- Aldi estimates up to 3,000 suppliers will benefit from their immediate payment of suppliers with a turnover of less than £1m a year as this has been extended to non-merchandise suppliers.
- M&S have increased their contactless payment up to £45.
- M&S is continuing to show its appreciation for NHS and Emergency Service workers and all that they do – for example, this week, colleagues from its Hazel Grove store delivered flowers to Stepping Hill Hospital.
- Poundland has lifted restrictions on products customers can purchase but urge customers to still be thoughtful and buy what they need.
- Poundland has placed 100 of its stores into hibernation this week. This means eight out of nine Poundland stores will remain open to serve their communities.
1st APRIL 2020
- ASDA will remove product limits across all lines apart from key items such as hand sanitiser and baby milk/formula.
- Debenhams is furloughing colleagues both at its support centres and in the distribution functions where their focus is on store-based activity. It is continuing to support online trading.
- Morrisons purchase limits on items will be raised to four items (previously was three) and some limits will be removed altogether.
- M&S have temporarily added several branded items such as Rummo pasta and Tilda rice to their ranges.
- M&S have adapted their product mix in their smaller stores to ensure they have more key staples such as milk, bread, eggs and meat.
- M&S will give their frontline team 15% additional pay reward and has confirmed that furloughed colleagues will receive full pay.
- Post Office is reminding its 700,000 plus Travel Money Card customers that foreign currency sitting on a card can be transferred back to Pounds to help with day to day expenses during the coronavirus pandemic. More information.
- Waitrose is raising the contactless payment limit at all stores from £30 to £45 from 2nd April.
- Contactless limit is increasing to £45 from today.
31st March 2020
- Aldi is easing limits on most products in stores. Restrictions will apply (four per customer) on antibacterial wipes, hand wash and soap, shower gel, bleach, toilet tissue, kitchen towel, tissues, nappies, pasta, canned tomatoes, beans and sausages, part baked bread and alcohol. Antibacterial gel, UHT milk and baby formula are limited to two per customer. More information.
- Co-op has invested over £3M on new protective equipment, from clear safety screens to gloves and hand sanitiser to support frontline colleagues. From today, thousands of protective screens will be installed at Co-op stores across the UK.
- Co-op Food CEO Jo Whitfield has urged shoppers to show kindness and patience for each other and colleagues, as they work hard to do a great job.
- Lidl has donated £100,000 to the Covid-19 Emergency Community Fund, supporting vulnerable groups such as the elderly, and families who need help during school closures.
- Lidl has introduced new food donation boxes and in-store signage, helping customers to make donations while the retailer facilitates getting key supplies to those most in need.
- Lidl has partnered with FareShare to help facilitate thousands of donations. Additionally, the supermarket is donating a large volume of ambient products to FareShare and the Trussell Trust.
- Lidl has donated thousands of fresh fruit and vegetable bags to NHS staff, partnering with the Royal Voluntary Service to distribute to hospital sites across the country.
- Lidl has installed cashier protection screens across all checkouts, introduced face visors for store colleagues and has implemented a crowd control system to manage social distancing within stores, including positioning security guards or designated team members at store entrances to monitor the volume of people entering. Floor markings and signage in the aisles have also been introduced for customers queuing outside the stores and at checkouts.
- Lidl has removed product restrictions on ambient goods, except for toilet roll. Customers are urged to continue buying in usual household quantities to ensure that all customers continue to have access to all the products that they need. This is at store managers' discretion.
- M&S has launched new online Food Boxes to help customers get products they need and support those who aren’t able to easily visit stores. Food boxes will be available to order online for £30. There is a standard and vegetarian option, each box is filled with more than 20 kitchen and household essentials and treats. Priority access will be given to customers over 70. More information.
Waitrose are no longer capping fresh food in stores i.e. meat, fish, poultry, deli, bakery, fresh soups, meals and desserts. There is still a temporary cap on certain products on waitrose.com to ensure more customers have access to the products they want.
- WHSmith’s 80 hospital stores across the UK will increase their grocery ranges, in collaboration with Sainsbury’s, to further support NHS staff on the frontline. This partnership will bring over 90 additional products into these stores, including essentials such as toilet roll, pasta, UHT milk and long-life food products.
- The BRC released its guidance on social distancing and other safety measures for warehouse and distribution. More information.
30TH March 2020
- Boots is supporting the NHS and Government with Coronavirus testing for NHS workers. Last week, they began testing NHS workers at their site in Beeston, Nottingham.
- Burberry will supply surgical masks and retool Yorkshire factory to make non-surgical gowns and masks, fund research into single-dose vaccine developed by the University of Oxford and donate to charities helping tackle food poverty across the UK. More information.
- IKEA grants €26m to protect the health and livelihoods of communities, co-workers, suppliers and consumers impacted by coronavirus. More information.
- Morrisons is distributing £10m of food to the nation’s food banks during the coronavirus outbreak by producing extra food from its food-making sites and delivering more food from its stores. The retailer will be running its bakery, egg and fruit & veg packing site for an extra hour every day to make, prepare and pack food required to restock the food banks. More information.
- Morrisons have fitted transparent screens at every main bank checkout in their stores and are providing disposable gloves, more sanitiser and other hygiene initiatives. More information.
- Morrisons have implemented a staggered entry system into all stores, limiting number of customers and colleagues inside at any one time and have reconfigured the flow of their stores with vinyl floor stickers and signage. There are also regular announcements to remind customers of new rules. More information.
- Morrisons have issued car stickers and have made a letter available on their internal website for all their colleagues which clarify their key worker status in case of interaction with authorities. More information.
- Poundland have introduced Perspex screens at till points, only have every other till and self-service checkout kiosk open, have a dedicated distancing role where a colleague manages the flow of customer in stores and have distributed 20,000 units of hand sanitiser for exclusive use by colleagues across all stores.
- Poundland will not replenish stock during opening hours, this will only be done outside of store trading hours so the highest standards of sanitisation can be maintained and reduce the risk of contact between colleagues and customers.
- Starbucks are donating 144,000 cups of coffee – plus food and fresh juices - to NHS facilities in the Coventry and Manchester area today. This donation includes contributions from Starbucks UK partners (employees) and are a part of Starbucks support and appreciation for the efforts of healthcare workers.
- Waitrose started taking the steps to giving elderly and vulnerable customers priority access to at least a quarter of future online shopping deliveries. The supermarket acknowledges it won’t be able to reach everybody as it doesn’t have the capacity but it is doing everything in its power to help. It is initially contacting vulnerable Waitrose.com customers who have a Partnership card and a Waitrose.com account (Partnership card data allows them to see customers' ages) to offer these slots.
27TH March 2020
- Asda has announced that it will provide full pay to colleagues who have been identified by Government as needing to self-isolate for 12 weeks and will offer fully paid leave to colleagues who are vulnerable – or are the carers of extremely vulnerable people. More information.
- M&S is introducing an NHS and emergency services telephone banking hour from 18:00 – 19:00.
- M&S has expanded the product range and increased the size of deliveries to their 46 hospital stores across the UK to ensure NHS teams have access to essential products.
- Next has decided to temporarily close its online, warehousing and distribution operations and will not be taking any more online orders until further notice.
- Iceland has updated its store opening hours and the vast majority will be open Monday – Friday between 09:00 and 17:00. Iceland will welcome NHS staff between 17:00 – 18:00, or during the final trading hour. Sunday trading hours will remain the same. Customers can check the Store Locator on their website for full details.
- Iceland's The Food Warehouse has updated its store opening hours to 08:00 - 19:00 Monday - Saturday, with a designated slot for NHS workers between 07:00 - 08:00. Sunday trading hours will remain the same.
- Iceland continues to provide priority hours for elderly and vulnerable people in some stores, however there have been some changes in line with the new opening hours and customer feedback. Customers are advised to check priority hours with their local store.
- Iceland continues to offer exclusive hours for NHS staff. Unfortunately, no other customers will be admitted into stores during these hours. Customers will be asked to provide NHS ID upon arrival and will only accept card payments – preferably contactless – during these hours.
- Iceland is limiting entry to stores and has issued an update to all customers, ensuring they keep a 2m distance from others whilst queuing and shopping – markers have been placed on the floor to support this.
- Iceland is in the process of installing shield screens at checkouts in all stores and providing gloves, face masks and additional hand sanitisers to colleagues.
- Iceland is working to maximise online delivery availability and continues to release new slots every day. The retailer has added a pop up to the online shopping website, enabling the elderly and the vulnerable to be prioritised.
- SPAR have implemented a range of new social distancing measures to protect staff and customers, including making disposable gloves and paper towels available in stores and forecourts, closing every other till, encouraging the use of contactless, floor signage etc.
26TH March 2020
- B&Q has moved to online only, making diy.com it’s primary store for a limited range of essential products to keep homes safe, warm and in working order. Orders are for a new contactless Click+Collect service and home delivery. All stores remain closed.
- Co-op has introduced new, stricter measures to enforce social distancing in stores. The retailer has introduced a range of measures across its 2,600 stores including floor markers which will define a one metre distance throughout the store, in front of kiosks and two-metre spacing for customer queues.
- Ebay to support SME trading by waiving the listing and selling fee for new businesses who register on their website.
- Ebay is cracking down on sellers listing items at inflated prices and is banning anyone who isn’t pre-approved whitelisted vendors from selling facemasks and hand sanitiser.
- M&S are asking customers not to return non-essential items to their stores as they focus on food operations. To support customers with this, they’ve extended their exchange and returns policy for full price Clothing & Home items to 90 days until further notice.
- Sainsbury’s is limiting the number of people in their stores and at ATMs from today. Queuing systems will be set up outside stores where people must continue to abide by social distancing guidelines. They are also reducing numbers of checkouts in order to allow greater distance between customers. More information.
- The Scottish Government published new guidance for firms on social distancing on Wednesday. More information.
25TH March 2020
- Aldi has announced that store and distribution colleagues will receive a 10% bonus on hours worked, effective from 9 March 2020
- Aldi will open between 09:30- 10.00 on Sundays (08:30-09:00 in Scotland) solely for key workers in the NHS, Police and Fire Service. Eligible customers will be able to take priority at checkouts when they open at 10:00
- Aldi will pay any supplier with a turnover of less than £1m (which is more than 1,000 Aldi suppliers) immediately
- Aldi is installing protective plastic screens and floor markers at checkouts to encourage social distancing, and to protect colleagues and customers
- Aldi is encouraging customers to use contactless payment such as credit cards, Apple Pay and Android Pay, wherever possible, rather than using cash
- Co-op will be reducing the opening hours of stores to encourage the message to stay at home and give colleagues the chance to re-stock.
- DFS Group (including DFS, Dwell, Sofa Workshop and Sofology) closed their showrooms and factories and stopped all visits and deliveries to customers homes as of 23 March. The online channel remains open, but deliveries will not be resumed until the travel restrictions and social distancing guidelines are lifted
- Iceland has made further updates to its store policies in order to further strengthen its health and safety measures. These include agreed limits of between 40-80 people in our stores, depending on the size of the store. Iceland is also encouraging 2m distancing in its stores via in-store radio announcements and posters, and further supporting this by closing every other checkout
- Iceland is advising that one colleague only should be in store offices or staff rooms at any one time. Iceland has also provided posters to be used in colleague areas of the store, setting out advice on hygiene measures such as handwashing, store cleaning practices and daily washing of uniforms
- M&S have temporarily closed their 31 outlet stores selling only clothing and home
- M&S standalone food stores and food halls in larger stores remain open
- M&S Bank branches in stores are temporarily closed, but there will be colleagues on hand to help customers who need support with deposits and payments
24TH March 2020
- B&Q announced they will temporarily close on Tuesday 24th March whilst they are working out the safest way to support communities in providing only essential products moving forwards. More information.
- Debenhams announced that it will temporarily close all stores in the UK and ROI.
- Greggs have temporarily closed all shops from Tuesday 24 March. Whilst shops will be temporarily closed, dedication to communities won’t stop. The retailer will continue to provide support to local communities by offering support for those in hardship through the Greggs Foundation.
- M&S is expanding the product range and increasing the size of daily deliveries to all 46 hospital stores across the UK to help NHS workers access essential products. Throughout the week, a number of additional changes will be made including all stores to receive personal care items, a substantial increase of the meat & fish offer as well as fresh produce, and the team will also be introducing nutritious prepared meals to all stores that don’t currently have them.
- Iceland has encouraged its customers to donate to the National Emergencies Trust by adding a donation banner to its website and social media channels. The National Emergencies Trust is raising vital funds for those affected by the Covid-19 crisis. More information.
- Iceland Foods Charitable Foundation has donated £150,000 to Age UK to specifically support older people during the Covid-19 crisis. More information.
- Next has closed all its stores, temporarily, until further notice, but remains open online, with free delivery to home.
- Post Offices have been designated an essential retailer by the UK Government. The majority of its 11,500 branches remain open. If a branch must close as a precaution against the spread of coronavirus, the Postmaster can display a poster advising that it’s shut. Branch Finder.
- The Perfume Shop closed its stores in the UK and ROI on Sunday 22 March; online remains open.
- Waitrose has announced a set of new measures to help its customers shop safely and protect its Partners. These include limiting customer numbers, introducing ‘safe distance’ floor signage, ‘two metre Marshalls’ to help manage queues, protective screens at checkouts, additional security and are encouraging contactless shopping. More information.
Government and other announcements:
- The Prime Minister announced the closure of all non-essential shops (and other premises) from yesterday evening. Essential shops include supermarkets, health shops, home and hardware shops, pet shops, corner shops, newsagents and more. More information.
- BRC and UK Finance announced that the contactless card payment spending limit would be increased from £30 to £45, with rollout beginning on 1st April. More information.
23rd March 2020
- Aldi has launched a recruitment drive to hire 9,000 new workers, including roles in every one of its stores and distribution centres, to help keep the nation going in uncertain times. More information.
- Aldi has announced new donations to some of its key charity partners and has set out further new measures to improve the availability of products in-store and to protect against the risks of infection. More information.
- Ann Summers have closed all their retail stores (online still operating). All colleagues affected will remain on full pay until at least the end of April.
- Asda will be donating £5m to their charity partners FareShare and the Trussell Trust, which will provide more than 4 million meals to families in food poverty, as well as giving more than 3000 charities access to free food over the next 3 months.
- B&Q have introduced various new measures in all stores to support guidance around social distancing, and for colleagues’ and customers’ safety. The new measures include restricting the number of customers in the store at any one time and increasing in-store communication about respecting space, as well as adding visual ‘safe-space’ markings to help customers around the checkouts.
- Co-op will donate £1.5m worth of food to FoodShare. Essential food products will be distributed to its 23 regional centres, which supports more than 11,000 charities and community groups, including food banks. More information.
- Co-op are temporarily limiting purchases on certain products to maintain stocks and choice for all customers.
- Co-op have taken immediate steps to help front-line colleagues follow all precautions advised by NHS and PHE and have built in additional working hours for store colleagues to undertake more frequent hand washing throughout the day. Additional hand sanitiser, antibacterial wipes and soap have been provided to all stores and they are all following upweighted, rigorous cleaning protocols of the store and all fixtures.
- Co-op will fast track the recruitment of 5,000 store colleagues in a bid to provide temporary employment for hospitality workers who have lost their jobs. More information.
- Co-op’s valued food and funeral colleagues have been recognised as key workers. As a convenience retailer, this decision helps Co-op to continue to serve local communities up and down the country and demonstrates the importance of funeral service workers who are committed to supporting families during a time of loss.
- Co-op will prioritise their vulnerable customers and those that care for them between 08:00 and 09:00 Monday – Saturday and 10:00 – 11:00 on Sundays in all stores. Whilst Co-op are not closing their shops to other customers during this time, they would ask for their understanding as they prioritise the needs of the most vulnerable customers.
- Costa Coffee will temporarily close all their stores from 5pm Monday 23 March. Where possible, Costa stores in hospitals will remain open and are currently providing free coffee to NHS workers. All 16,000 plus Costa Coffee team members who work in those stores that will be closed will be paid their full average weekly pay over eight weeks. More Information.
- DFS Group (DFS, Sofology, Sofa Workshop and Dwell) is paying all employees in full for March and April, regardless of whether they are self-isolating or taking dependents leave, in order to safeguard employees and their families' health and wellbeing. The retailer is looking to see what further internal or governmental support is available beyond this.
- John Lewis Partnership will temporarily shut all 50 shops as of close of business on Monday 23 March. Johnlewis.com will continue to operate as normal, alongside Waitrose shops and waitrose.com. The food halls within John Lewis Oxford Street and Waitrose shops which share premises with John Lewis space at Kingston, Ipswich, Stratford, Horsham, Basingstoke and Canary Wharf will remain open. More information.
- John Lewis Partnership has launched a support fund to aid its Partners who are facing additional costs as a result of the pandemic; such as childcare costs. Partners are also being offered free meals at work. Yesterday it announced it is working with Age UK, FareShare, the Trussell Trust, Grocery Aid and Retail Trust - donating £75,000 initially to each of the five charities. More information.
- McDonald’s UK & Ireland have decided to temporarily close all restaurants by 19:00 on Monday 23 March. More information.
- Pret A Manger has temporarily closed all 400 UK shops, which came into effect on the evening of 21 March 2020. It has committed to paying all its UK employees 100% of their normal hours and pay throughout March and April. More information.
- Primark has now temporarily shut all its UK stores, until further notice.
- Starbucks began closing stores across the UK on 20 March as it continues to prioritise partner (employee) and customer safety. More information.
- Waitrose & Partners shops will set aside a proportion of hard-to-find and essential products for NHS staff and will be available to collect at any time of day to help work around their shifts. NHS staff will also be given priority checkout service through either dedicated NHS checkouts, Partners opening new tills or moving workers to the front of the queue. In addition, John Lewis has responded to requests from NHS workers to make their breaks more comfortable and have donated items such as pillows, phone chargers, eye masks and hand cream, as well as 50,000 Easter treats, to hospitals. More information.
20th March 2020
- B&Q are paying colleagues who are self-isolating and are giving their colleagues who are over 70 years’ old, the option not to work and receive full pay
- Co-op set to fast track recruitment of 5,000 store colleagues in a bid to provide temporary employment for hospitality workers who have lost their jobs. More info.
- Ikea will close all 22 UK stores and smaller units from 6pm Friday. Online and fulfilment operations will continue. More info.
- John Lewis & Partners suspended services that involve close contact between customers and Partners. This includes cafés, The Place To Eat and others that require skin contact, such as beauty counter treatments and bra-fitting. Nespresso and Kuoni will also be temporarily closing their concessions too.
- M&S is implementing special shopping hours for the elderly and vulnerable and NHS/emergency workers. More info.
- M&S is extending temporary purchasing restrictions to two items per customer on Frozen Foods, Homecare, Groceries and Eggs, and issuing guidance on freezing fresh food items. More info.
- Sainsbury’s will give online customers who are over 70 years of age or have a disability priority access to online delivery slots. More info.
- For any online Sainsbury’s customer who can travel to their stores, they will operate an expanded ‘click and collect’ service. Customers can place their order online as usual and pick it up from a collection point in the store car park. More info.
- Sainsbury’s customers can buy a maximum of three of any grocery products and a maximum of two on the most popular products including toilet paper, soap and UHT milk. Some stores may introduce a lower maximum for some products, where they believe this will help more people to have access to the items that they need. More info.
- Waitrose & Partners has introduced a dedicated shopping hour for the elderly, the vulnerable and those who look after them – this will be the first opening hour of the shop. More info.
- Waitrose & Partners has set up a £1m Community Support Fund to help those in need in their local communities. More info.
- Waitrose & Partners will temporarily close its cafés, self-serve coffee machines, wine bars, cookery schools and Wine Tasting at Home service to focus resource on meeting the current high demand.
- Waitrose & Partners will set a limit of three of any specific grocery items, and a maximum of two packets of toilet roll per customer buying in its shops. Exclusions include fresh fruit and vegetables as well as Easter Confectionary, beers, wines, cider and spirits.
- Defra have announced competition law is to be relaxed to allow supermarkets to work together to feed the nation. More info.
- Defra also announced the relaxation on laws around drivers’ hours and are waiving the bag charge for online purchases. More info.
While the BRC cannot comment on specific actions, we may be able to comment on common actions by retailers aimed at supporting their customers.