UK retailer John Lewis Partnership has said it will temporarily halt its click and collect services that allow consumers to order online and pick up products from its department stores, in order to discourage non-essential travel during the current COVID-19 lockdown.
“The John Lewis Partnership is conscious of the increased need to remove reasons for non-essential travel during the current lockdown, to help encourage the public to stay at home. With this in mind, Click & Collect services based within John Lewis shops will be switched off to new orders at the close of business today,” it said in a statement.
It also said face coverings will be mandatory in Waitrose supermarkets over the coming days.
This comes as The British Retail Consortium, a body representing more than 170 retailers, called on the police to help enforce coronavirus mask wearing rules, as case loads reach critical levels across the UK.
Andrew Opie, the BRC’s director of food & sustainability, said: “While enforcement of face coverings is the responsibility of the police, retailers continue to do what they can to encourage their use throughout stores.”
John Lewis also said those working in Waitrose shops will be required to wear face coverings when behind protective screens and in back of house areas, in addition to the other areas where this rule already applies.
Its in-home services and installations teams will now carry out a “significantly reduced range of activities in customers’ homes, pausing services which are not essential to the health and wellbeing of customers and their families,” it said.
All existing bookings will be honoured where the customer still wishes to proceed, but no further bookings for non-essential services will be accepted.
Andrew Murphy, executive director, operations at John Lewis said: “We are acutely aware that the country is at a critical point in the pandemic.”
“While we recognise that the detail of formal guidance has not changed, we feel it is right for us - and in the best interests of our Partners and customers - to take proactive steps to further enhance our covid-security and related operational policies,” he added.
It was reported last week John Lewis is one of many British business that are no longer delivering overseas. Until last month, it offered EU delivery through its website, but the offer has now been withdrawn.
John Lewis said the move was not due to Brexit, but because it wanted to focus on the UK.
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