British retailers are introducing staff safety measures in order to re-open their ecommerce businesses, and generate sales as the coronavirus lockdown continues.
This week Fenwick, Quiz and Dunelm have all opted for a cautious, phased return, adhering closely to government guidelines about social distancing.
Similarly Next and Schuh are back online, but only taking a limited number of orders, rather than risk harm to distribution centre staff. Meanwhile US web giant Amazon is experiencing a sales bonanza, while facing criticism about how it’s handling employee safety, particularly in the US.
New ways of fulfiling orders at Fenwick
Fenwick is welcoming customers back to its website, having been closed for business for several weeks. A special ‘edit’ of brands has been made available, rather than the full range that would normally be sold through the ecommerce site.
The website says: “We are now delighted to tell you that we have significantly altered the way in which orders are picked and packed so some of those colleagues who wish to return to work are able to do so, while adhering to the government guidelines and meeting the strict social distancing measures we all need to follow.”
Fenwick says there will only be small groups of people, who have volunteered to return, working on rotation to process orders. “We will be prioritising returns and outstanding orders first so deliveries of new orders may take a little longer than usual and we appreciate your patience.”
The department store brand says it is “continuing to work on bringing you more products to browse and shop, as and when it is safe to do so”.
Quiz has safety solutions too
Fashion retailer Quiz has also resumed online trading after it was suspended on March 27. The retailer also shut its shops last month and temporarily closed its distribution centre because of coronavirus safety issues, but it is now open again.
Quiz said: “The group has significantly reduced the number of employees working in the distribution centre at any given time to enable strict social distancing.
“A number of additional safety measures have also been implemented, including deep cleaning and the provision of personal protection equipment in order to keep its employees safe and protected.”
Quiz was founded in 1993 as one shop in Glasgow by Tarak Ramzan, its chief executive. It has more than 70 stores and 160 concessions in Britain, as well as having an international presence.
Dunelm phased reopening of online business
Homewares specialist Dunelm has re-opened its web store after implementing measures to protect staff and customers from coronavirus.
The retailer said it consulted “external specialists, including NHS professionals” to advise on changes and that it had received approval from Trading Standards to open its website for business again.
Next, the high street retailer, reopened its online sales on Tuesday, but had to close its site a few hours later after customers rushed to place orders. It is currently taking a small number of orders a day. We also reported on foot retailer Schuh re-opening its web business this week.
Main image: Fenwicks