Ann Summers to close stores but B&Q to stay open – British Retail Consortium

By Simon Neville, PA City Editor

Several retailers have given an update on what changes are being made due to coronavirus and Government promises on keeping staff paid.

In the latest daily update from members of the British Retail Consortium, Ann Summers has closed all its stores and agreed to give staff full pay until at least the end of April.

It continues to trade online.

But B&Q and Screwfix stores remain open, with bosses introducing new social distancing measures in stores.

Since the Government said that all restaurants, bars, cafes and pubs should close from last Friday and go takeaway only, some have decided to close completely, to protect staff health and avoid unnecessary travel.

These include McDonalds, Costa, Starbucks and Pret.

Retailers can remain open, but some have already announced plans to close, with John Lewis, Ikea, New Look and Waterstones shutting doors.

Food retailers have been increasing donations to food banks, with Asda agreeing to £5 million for FoodShare, and Co-op pledging £1.5 million.

Co-op added it has built in additional working hours for store colleagues to undertake more frequent handwashing throughout the day.

The company’s funeral workers have also been designated as key workers.

DFS said it would be paying all staff full pay for March and April, regardless of whether they are self-isolating or looking after family members.

John Lewis will shut all 50 stores at the end of Monday trading, although Waitrose food halls in the department stores will remain open.

The supermarket is also setting aside a proportion of hard-to-find and essential products for NHS staff and will be available to collect at any time of day to help work around their shifts.

There will also be priority checkouts for NHS staff, along with donations of items including pillows and phone chargers.