A Poundland spokesman said the chain was “transitioning” its focus away from non-essential operations toward food
Home Bargains will join supermarkets in installing protective screens at checkouts
The Original Factory Shop, which sells a more limited ambient food range, has closed all of its stores
Variety discounters remain open following Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s order that “non-essential” retailers must close to slow the spread of coronavirus.
B&M, Home Bargains, Poundland and Poundstretcher continue to trade today thanks to their food ranges.
A Poundland spokesman said about 70% of its range qualified as essential items under the government’s order.
“We’re proud to remain open to serve the communities we trade in,” a Poundland spokesman said this morning. “People should heed government advice and stay home but if they need essentials we’ll be there for them.”
He said the chain was “transitioning” its focus away from non-essential operations, like its 300 Pep&Co ‘shops in shops’, toward food.
Poundland stores have gained floor markers to encourage shoppers to keep their distance from each other when queueing. Customers are also asked to pay by card wherever possible to limit cash handling.
Home Bargains today also announced new store measures to slow the spread of the virus. It will this week join Morrisons, Aldi, Lidl and Waitrose in installing screens at checkouts to help protect shoppers and staff. Customers are asked to stay two metres apart.
Poundstretcher is open but understood to be reviewing the situation.
Wilko is also still open, although hours have changed, with closing time now at 5pm on Mondays to Saturdays.
Meanwhile, The Original Factory Shop, which sells a more limited ambient food range among homewares and clothing, has closed all of its 167 stores.
Announcing the move to customers this morning, TOFS CEO Emma Fox said: “In line with the prime minister’s announcement, we will temporarily close all 167 shops from Tuesday 24 March until further notice.
“We are immensely proud of our colleagues’ support and dedication, and we would like to extend our thanks to each and every one of them. We will do everything possible to support them through these uncertain times.
“For the past 50 years our shops have sat in the heart of local communities and we thank you all for your loyalty and continued support during these uncertain times, and look forward to seeing you again when we reopen.”
B&M last week said it was prioritising food and toiletries over GM to keep shelves stocked with the most essential products.