All Fenwick stores on temporary shut-down due to COVID-19
Fenwick has announced that all of its stores will be closed until further notice due to the COVID-19 Coronavirus outbreak.
The move is unprecedented by the family owned retailer which was founded in Newcastle in 1882. Its flagship store has been on London's Bond Street since 1891, while other branches include Bracknell, Brent Cross, Canterbury, Colchester, Kingston upon Thames (Bentalls), Tunbridge Wells and York.
In a communication to customers, the family-owned business said: "The doors of Fenwick have been open to customers for almost 140 years - it goes against everything in our nature to close them. But these aren't normal times and we find ourselves in the unique situation where shutting our doors, for the time being, is the right thing to do for our customers, our colleagues and our communities."
The business said the closures would take effect from 7pm tomorrow (19 March) and that it would continue to operate online for as long as possible and to communicate with customers via its social channels.
Fenwick is the latest in a string of stores to announce temporary closures. Many have said the closures will last at least until the end of March but others have not specified the duration of the shut-downs. Yesterday fellow luxury department store Selfridges said it would close all of its locations in London, Manchester and Birmingham
Fenwick's move comes as speculation mounts the that Prime Minister Boris Johnson will put London on an effective lock-down from this weekend as people continue to socialise in pubs and cafes against his recommendations to stay away. In his daily briefing today, in which he announced the closure of schools in England from Friday, Johnson did not rule out taking more stringent measures in London, where the virus is spreading most quickly.
According to the latest available figures on 18 March there were 2,626 recorded cases of COVID-19 and 103 deaths in the UK, with the number of cases having jumped by 676, the largest daily increase in the country so far.
Visit our COVID-19 dedicated content hub to read more on how the pandemic is impacting fashion and retail.