John Lewis Partnership made news headlines this week with its revised Covid-19 safety measures, including stopping Click & Collect services from its John Lewis shops at the end of Tuesday (January 12).
Andrew Murphy, JLP’s executive director, operations said the retailer is “acutely aware that the country is at a critical point in the pandemic.” The suspension of Click & Collect at JL stores (still available at Waitrose and other locations) is to “help the national effort by removing reasons for non essential travel.”
Speaking on Radio 4’s Today programme (Wednesday January 13), health minister Matt Hancock supported the move, saying he was “grateful for what John Lewis has done.” Meanwhile, according to media reports this week (including The Telegraph and Mailonline), a government cabinet subcommittee discussed restricting click and collect to supermarkets and some ‘essential’ retailers last Sunday. This reflects concerns that the virus can be transmitted in collection queues.
On Wednesday, Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon ordered non-essential click and collect to stop from Saturday (January 16). However, she has classified ‘homeware’ as essential goods for which click and collect can continue.
Independent cookshops across the UK continue to support their customers at home by providing local deliveries, often without charge, and/or customer collections without queues. For example, in Edinburgh, housewares stockist Marchmont Hardware has been providing local home delivery for kitchenware and domestic hardware. The shop is providing ‘essential items’ for ‘at the door collection’ at set times, in line with the government’s changing classifications.
In The Pantiles pedestrian shopping street in Tunbridge Wells, Independent Cookshop of the Year (and hardware stockist) Trevor Mottram has not reopened in Lockdown 3 but is providing a wider radius of home deliveries, as well as pre-arranged individual collections following phone and email orders. “We don’t want to attract more people to The Pantiles; there are still a lot of people out and about,” co-owner Sarah Wood told HousewaresNews.net, reflecting on the current stage of the pandemic.
Having been deemed an essential retailer by Bromley Council (remaining open while in tier 4 in December), The Kitchen Range West Wickham also closed its doors from the start of Lockdown 3 to prioritise the safety of customers and staff, while continuing to offer individual collections from its door at set times.
Hargreaves & Sons in Buxton has suspended its click and collect service, providing free home delivery for orders (see separate story HERE).
Top: Customers can no longer click and collect for housewares and other items from John Lewis stores from this week (although they can collect JL orders from Waitrose supermarkets and other locations).