Net-A-Porter has resumed taking orders on its UK website but has told clients items will not be shipped until it can safely re-open its London warehouse.
The YNAP-owned luxury site had suspended orders towards the end of last month after temporarily closing its South London facility due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Shortly after it began to offer clients the opportunity to place orders via its Asia-Pacific site and have them shipped from there, but payment was taken in $HK and certain shipping taxes may have been applied to orders.
Now it is offering customers the chance to effectively pre-order items from the UK site, through if an item is available from the Asia-Pacific site, they will still have the opportunity to buy it from there.
In a communication to customers, Net-A-Porter said that anyone placing an order on the UK site for delivery from the UK would have payment taken nine days after the order with the item shipped thereafter when it was safe to do so. It is also offering extended returns of 60 days.
“Due to current circumstances, we aren’t able to confirm when our distribution centers will reopen and therefore advise against ordering anything you wish to use on a specific date. We will, however, continue to monitor developments over the days and weeks to come,” it said.
A number of retailers have closed their e-commerce operations temporarily while they ensure their facilities can safely run while adhering to Government guidelines on hygiene and social distancing. Most are still operational though often at reduced capacity.
Footwear retailer Schuh closed its e-commerce business but has subsequently re-opened it with new safety measures in place. High street giant Next initially tried to keep its e-commerce arm open but subsequently closed it. Industry sources suggest that it is trying to put measures in place to re-open it as soon as it can do so safely.
The UK Government enforced the closure of all non-essential physical retail on 23 March until at least after Easter but said that e-commerce was permitted to continue. The Government has said it will review the measures after Easter but it seems highly unlikely they will be lifted for a number of weeks, prompting retailers to try to resume e-commerce orders to ensure some business can be done during the lockdown.