A week on the high street

25th March 2020

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Retail and leisure

Hotel chains have offered rooms to help the NHS: Britannia Hotels has offered 600 rooms across the UK for patients, thereby freeing up critical care beds: Best Western Great Britain have also said they will consider converting some of their 270 hotels into temporary hospitals: GG Hospitality, Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs hotel group, have closed their two venues offering the rooms to medical workers.

 

Ninja Warrior UK-themed venue has been given the go-ahead by Leicester City Council to open the adventure park on the edge of the City in the former Toys R Us shop at St George’s Retail Park. The venue will create 10 new full and part-time jobs.

 

Deliveroo is partnering with BP and Marks & Spencer during the ongoing Coronavirus crisis to offer a select range of M&S Food products such as milk, bread, cereal, pasta, rice, sweets and biscuits, soft drinks and juices and tinned goods. The scheme has gone live in Cambridge and will be rolled out across Reading, Brighton, Nottingham, Manchester, Leeds and London over the next couple of weeks.

 

Brewdog, the Scottish brewer and retailer is to open 102 bars online on Friday this week hosting a series of events including home-brewing masterclasses, pub quizzes, live music and comedy.  They will also be hosting question-and-answer sessions with giveaways and exclusive merchandise from the Brewdog online shop.

 

Healthy fast food restaurant Leon has converted all 65 of its UK restaurants into shops selling meals via either click-and-collect or delivery service, particularly where NHS team and other essential workers rely on their services. Staff members have been told they should only work if they wish to and they don’t want to put any staff at unnecessary risk.

 

Pret a Manger, the owners of Eat has permanently closed the doors on the remaining branches. Many of the stores were converted into Pret and Veggie Pret sites but the brand announced on its Twitter account “EAT The Real Food Company has now closed’.

 

Major retailers who have temporarily closed: Clarks, staff will continue to be paid; Ikea; Lego; Inditex, who own Zara; Card Factory on a selective basis; John Lewis; Lookers and Marshall Motor Holdings- car retailers; ScS, intending to get help from the Governments Job Retention Scheme; Angling Direct; Sweaty Betty (initially for 2 weeks); Harrods; Debenhams; TX Maxx; Next; Timpson; Dunelm; JD Sports; Games Workshop; Boots – Beauty and fragrance counters; The Entertainer; Primark and the Arcadia Group.

 

Although the government has allowed pubs and restaurants to operate as takeaways without the need for planning permission some leisure operators have taken the difficult decisions to close: Haven Holiday Parks; Hawksmoor; Center Parcs; McDonalds; Bistrot Pierre; Loungers; D&D; TGI Friday’s; Prezzo; Pret a Manger; Nando’s; Bills; Dishoom; Ping Pong, New World Trading Company; Yo! Sushi closed 54 but leave 16 operational; Starbucks, Itsu; Subway; Costa Coffee and Patisserie Valerie.

 

in other news...

Asda, Aldi, Marks & Spencer and Waitrose have launched in-store social distancing measure to protect shoppers and staff including floor markers, hand sanitiser provision, plastic screens at checkouts, directional-barriers, new signage and announcements: Allbirds, the sustainable footwear retailer has donating 2,000 pairs of its wool running shoes to front line NHS staff: Home Bargains has announced a £30m fund to help staff who need to self-isolate; Supermarkets across the country are looking to hire extra staff to cover the extra demand; Just East has announced a 30-day ‘emergency support package’ for restaurants that includes a 33% rebate on commission fees: Lidl is rolling out a customer food donation box in-store to help local community groups and people in need of food and supplies: Aldi is to pay 10% bonus to store and distribution staff to reward them for their efforts throughout the pandemic: The Works has reported a ‘significant uplift’ in sales as customers prepared to support their children being home-schooled.

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