Builders merchants Travis Perkins, Jewson and Buildbase are shutting their stores for at least 24 hours in a bid to help ease the COVID-19 crisis
The decision comes as builders merchants seek guidance from the government on confusion as to whether they are defined as essential outlets amid the lockdown.
In a statement, Mike Newnham, managing director of Jewson, said: “There are many changes happening at incredible speed that are affecting business and everyday life. We have been working very hard to keep up with the pace of the changes and, above all, protect our people, our customers and their livelihoods and our business.
“Following the Prime Minister’s announcement on Monday evening [23 March] we have taken the decision to close all our branches and offices.
“This closure will be in effect for 24 hours on Tuesday 24 March while we seek urgent clarification from the UK Government about how we can operate our business within the government guidelines.
“We want to play our part in helping the country overcome this crisis. We have been doing this by taking steps to protect our people from the risk of the virus. We also do this by helping our customers provide essential maintenance of homes and public buildings, helping self-employed customers stay in business and by providing essential livelihoods for all our colleagues.
“As you will appreciate this is a very difficult decision. Above all safety, wellbeing and health has to come first. We apologise sincerely for any disruption this causes to you.
“We will be providing a further update to this situation by 5:00pm on Tuesday 24 March.”
Travis Perkins also took to twitter: “Following the government Directive, we’ll be helping to control the spread of COVID-19 by temporarily closing all of our branches & ceasing online ordering from 23/03/20.
“We apologise for any inconvenience caused & we look forward to welcoming you back into our branches soon.”
Following the Government Directive, we’ll be helping to control the spread of COVID-19 by temporarily closing all of our branches & ceasing online ordering from 23/03/20. We apologise for any inconvenience caused & we look forward to welcoming you back into our branches soon.
— Travis Perkins (@TravisPerkinsCo) March 23, 2020
Following the Prime Minister’s announcement, we have taken the decision to temporarily close our branches today and our website will not be accepting orders. The health & safety of our customers, colleagues and community remains our top priority. Thank you for your understanding.
— Buildbase (@BuildbaseUK) March 24, 2020