Next closes warehouses and ceases online orders
Next is the latest fashion retailer to announce that it will stop taking online orders and close its warehouses during the COVID-19 lock-down.
The company will shut its online operations from this evening and stop taking orders.
"Non-essential" retailers have been under pressure from politicians and staff to cease online orders, despite the Government saying that trade could continue to be carried out online.
On Wednesday, it was revealed that the Next had offered a 20% pay rise to any worker willing to continue picking clothing orders in-store.
However in a statement issued shortly after Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced that details of the Government’s support package for employers, Next said it “has listened very carefully”.
The company added: “It is clear that many increasingly feel they should be at home in the current climate.
“Next has therefore taken the difficult decision to temporarily close its Online, Warehousing and Distribution Operations from this evening, Thursday 26 March 2020.
“Next will not be taking any more online orders after this time until further notice.”
The move by Next is likely to lead to other fashion brands and retailers being forced to halt online operations, on top of closing their physical stores.
Department stores Fenwick, Moss Bros, Schuh and River Island have all take the decision to close their online operations following more stringent social distancing measures introduced by the Government this week.
Pureplay etailers, such as ASOS and Net-A-Porter, have faced criticism from the GMB Union for continuing to operate warehouses, despite the companies insisting they are carrying out strict hygiene and social distancing measures.