Next is relaunching its website after two weeks of temporary closure, due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The clothing and homeware retailer recently listed a number of its 16 UK-based warehouses for sale, in order to raise funds, after hundreds of its stores temporarily closed amidst the nationwide lockdown.
When is the online store reopening?
The Next website will begin to take orders again on Wednesday (15 Apr), now that several new safety measures have been implemented in the company’s warehouses and distribution centres.
New safety measures include additional walkways and one-way systems to help keep staff at a safe distance from one another.
Usdaw, the union for retail workers which has been working during the pandemic to ensure staff safety, has supported Next’s reopening of its online stores, warehouses and distribution centres due to the safety measures in place.
Next also has the support of its staff, with over 3,000 employees agreeing to return to work.
Why did the online store close?
The retailer was one of the first companies to temporarily close its shop and warehouse doors in an attempt to stop the spread of coronavirus among shoppers and staff, when the Government lockdown was announced in March.
Upon closing last month, the company addressed the decision on the Next website stating, "We have listened carefully to our colleagues in our warehouses and distribution operations. It is clear that many increasingly feel they should be at home in the current climate.”
The reopening of the website will be a gradual process, with only a small range available to shoppers initially. Set limits will also be placed on the number of items one shopper can purchase in a single day.
A statement from Next explains, “In order to operate our warehouse safely, we are limiting the number of warehouse colleagues working at any time, and so we will limit the number of customer orders we can take each day.”
In the meantime, before the relaunch, shoppers can browse the site and add any wanted items into a ‘favourites wishlist’.
The government’s lockdown measures have brought about financial insecurity to several companies nationwide, and Next is no different.
In a desperate attempt to raise much needed cash, the company has announced that it will sell its head office in Leicester, along with three warehouses.
These properties would then be leased back to Next as part of a mitigation strategy, which could raise up to £100 million for the company.