Coronavirus: Holland & Barrett keep stores open despite staff pleas

Holland & Barrett sign

Holland & Barrett has saved its outlets open up through the coronavirus crisis, but employees are campaigning for them to shut arguing their health and fitness is at hazard.

The alternate health and fitness chain has 750 United kingdom retailers and counts as an important retailer mainly because its solutions cater for folks with unique dietary requirements.

But personnel have established up a petition, pleading with management to shut stores around security problems.

The chain mentioned staff and customer security is of “paramount importance.”

The petition has attracted 2,600 signatures.

Staff have two problems. They argue that what the chain sells is not crucial, contrary to supermarkets or a pharmacies.

But they also warn that most outlets are way too modest to be risk-free, with no home for social-distancing.

‘Fear and stress’

A Holland & Barrett employee - who questioned to continue being anonymous for worry of shedding their career - informed the BBC: “Holland & Barrett is putting our life in threat with the pursuit of profit in excess of lifestyle.

“The standard ambiance is a single of dread and anxiety with a lot of our personnel and colleagues very frightened to discuss their minds.”

They reported: “We do not market necessities and have people coming in to buy flapjacks and sticks of liquorice, hardly an critical order.”

In quite a few of the outlets, they claimed: “It is pretty much nearly extremely hard to retain social distancing, as the aisles are really quick width and when we have to offer with customer queries, they do not regard the boundaries.

Why are the stores open up?

A Holland & Barrett spokesperson advised the BBC it experienced been encouraged by the governing administration that it is a person of the vendors that are envisioned to stay open up.

“This relates to the actuality that 90% of what we sell is foodstuff, natural vitamins and food items supplements, which numerous of our consumers depend on to handle their dietary or underlying circumstances,” they extra.

Illustrations the firm cited provided pregnant ladies in have to have of folic acid supplementation Coeliacs those people with milk and egg allergies people outlined by the governing administration as “at-hazard” teams in need of vitamin D supplementation and people caring for prospects with compromised immune units, in need to have of added assistance at this time.

Holland & Barrett said it has provided gloves, masks and hand sanitiser to all outlets and has also put in shielding screens at the counter.

It reported social distancing is becoming enforced “with apparent advice in retail outlet”.

“We have confined the highest quantity of prospects permitted in the merchants at any just one time, dependent on retail store sizing, and tape has been mounted marking out a two metre distance from the tills with distinct signage during shops.”

Staff members have pointed out that buyers wanting to purchase any of the goods Holland & Barratt market can do so via its on line store.

Holland & Barratt stated: “We are bolstering our on the web potential as rapidly as attainable so buyers can buy from house exactly where possible, and have set also up a new purchaser cellular phone line for those people customers who are not able to accessibility our site for dwelling supply.”