Luxe London and regional department stores announce temporary closures
As the number of confirmed coronavirus cases continues to increase across the UK, luxury department stores including Fenwick, Harrods and Harvey Nichols have announced temporary closures and reduced trading hours.
Selfridges closed its doors on Wednesday after three members of staff revealed they had contracted the virus, and more high-end destinations are following suit.
Fenwick said all stores will temporarily close to the public from 6pm on Thursday 19 March ‘until further notice’. The unprecedented move by the family-owned retailer means branches in London, Bracknell, Brent Cross, Canterbury, Colchester, Kingston upon Thames, Tunbridge Wells and York will close their doors this week.
“You, our customers, are exceptional and we know you will understand that we have not taken this approach lightly. The doors of Fenwick have been open to customers for almost 140 years - it goes against everything in our nature to close them. But these aren't normal times and we find ourselves in the unique situation where shutting our doors, for the time being, is the right thing to do for our customers, our colleagues and our communities,” the company said in a statement.
Harvey Nichols is also shutting all stores and restaurants in the UK and Ireland in light of the UK government’s guidance regarding Covid-19. “We are all in this together - so until we can open our doors again, please stay in touch,” read an update posted across the luxury retailer’s social media accounts.
Harrods is taking a different approach. The 170-year old business is defying official advice and continues to operate with reduced opening hours. Since Tuesday, trading hours have been reduced from 10am-9pm to 11am-7pm, although a number of Harrods restaurants have closed. The luxury department store said the policy will be reviewed as the situation progresses.
For now, all Beauty Masterclasses have been postponed to ensure there is no congregation in an enclosed space and all testers have been removed from the Beauty Halls. Additionally, the retailer’s beauty team has adopted a no-client-contact rule.
Browns, Dover Street Market London and Matchesfashion have also closed their doors.
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the UK rose to 2,626 on Thursday evening, and the death toll reached 137.
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