Selfridges has announced it is cutting its trading hours as the steps to curtail the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak are stepped up by the Government.
The luxury department store, which has branches in London, Manchester and Birmingham, said stores would open from 11am to 7pm Monday to Friday, while Sunday trading remains unchanged from 11.30am to 6pm in London and 11am to 5.30pm in Manchester and Birmingham.
In a statement to customers, Selfridges stores director Meave Wall said: “We wanted to reach out and let you know about the steps Selfridges is taking during these uncertain times. Despite everything going on around us, we are doing our best to continue with our promise to deliver extraordinary experiences and connect with our customers.”
The move comes after the Government took more dramatic steps to reduce unnecessary contact between the population. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said yesterday that people were advised to work at home where possible and avoid gatherings large and small. In a blow to the hospitality industry, people were advised to stay away from pubs, restaurants and theatres.
Johnson said he would not be enforcing the measures by law, though the Government had the power to do so, but advised people to stay away. The move promoted a number of pubs and restaurants to hastily change their business models to take-away and click & collect.
While the UK has yet to close schools and enforce a shut down of non-essential retail, which has happened in Italy, France, Germany and Spain, many global retailers, including Nike, Urban Outfitters and Abercrombie & Fitch has closed stores temporarily. Others are taking steps to reduce trading hours, cancel in-store events, close fitting rooms and switch to cashless payment only to avoid hand to hand contact.
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