Major book retailer Waterstones has announced it will close all 283 branches by the end of trade today (Monday 23 March).
In a tweet, the book retailer — which has almost 50 London stores, including its flagship on Piccadilly — said that it will temporarily shut its doors "to help prevent spread of the Coronavirus, and to protect the wellbeing of our customers and staff."
To help prevent spread of the Coronavirus, and to protect the wellbeing of our customers and staff, sadly Waterstones will temporarily close its doors by the close of trade Monday 23 March until further notice. Please check https://t.co/kBgNmOEeHG for additional information— Waterstones (@Waterstones) March 22, 2020
Though the government announced last Friday the immediate closure of restaurants, pubs and gyms, retailers were not explicitly included in the shutdown. Many — including Harrods, Selfridges, John Lewis and Primark — have already made the decision to close their stores for the time being.
Working in @Waterstones today following the lockdown. No hand sanitiser provided, no wipes, no disinfectant, no reduced shop hours, cash still being accepted. We're being told by head office that gloves and masks are not permitted, meanwhile administrative staff...(cont.)— Kajsa (@kk_liber) March 21, 2020
Over the weekend, one Waterstones employee claimed to be working in ones of its branches without hand sanitiser, disinfectant or gloves.
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