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Next restarts online sales after Covid-19 clampdown to save staff

The British fashion retailer has reopened its online sales after applying additional safety measures to limit the spread of the Covid-19 outbreak.

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Next shares are trading higher on Tuesday after reopening its online sales following additional safety measures aimed at limiting the spread of the coronavirus.

The British clothing and homeware retailer said it would restart the sale of ‘categories that our customer most need’ like children’s clothes and homeware items in a statement on Tuesday. The company hopes to make other product ranges available later this year.

Next shares are trading at 2% higher at £47.23 as of 13:05 (GMT) on Tuesday.

Next protects staff from Covid-19

Next announced the temporary closure of its online business along with its warehousing and distribution operations back on 26 March in a bid to stop the spread of Covid-19.

‘Operations will start with support from colleagues who are willing and able to safely return to work,’ Next said in a statement on Tuesday.

‘The idea is to begin selling in low volumes, so that we only need a small number of colleagues in each warehouse at any one time, helping to ensure rigorous social distancing is complied with,’ the company said.

To achieve these limited volumes, Next will only allow customers to order the number of items that it believes can be picked safely on any given day. At that point we will then stop taking orders and convert the website to 'browse only' until the following morning.

Next shuts website hours after reopening

The British retailer was forced to shut its online sales just hours into its website reopening on Tuesday after hitting its daily order limit by 08:30 (GMT).

‘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,’ A statement on the website.

‘We have successfully tested opening and taking a limited number of orders today. Please come back again tomorrow morning.’

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