COVID-19 Update

Date: 27th March 2020

 

In these unprecedented times the safety of our teams and customers at Holland & Barrett is of paramount importance. 

We are working hard to ensure our teams are as safe as possible whilst trying to meet the needs of our customers, in local communities, who rely on us for certain foods, vitamins and food supplements to manage their dietary or underlying conditions.

We have received specific guidance from government that we are expected to remain open as 90% of our sales relate to food, food supplements and vitamins, and this falls into the category of “notable exceptions” that the government guidelines have laid out

We have not taken this advice lightly and are working around the clock to ensure we have enacted the safety measures outlined by the Government and more.  These include:

  • closing stores where we can serve local communities from fewer locations
  • closing numerous city and shopping centre stores for the foreseeable future
  • reducing opening hours to a minimum
  • limiting the number of customers allowed in our stores at one time to ensure social distancing
  • requiring customers to scan products themselves
  • encouraging all customers to use only contactless payments

We are reviewing the stores we open on a constant basis and we will update our teams where stores need to be closed throughout the coming days.

Social distancing is being enforced with clear guidance in store. Additionally, we are providing gloves, masks and hand sanitiser to store colleagues, installing shielding screens at counters commencing this week and following all other safety advice. 

We took the voluntary decision, ahead of Government advice, to encourage all vulnerable team members to remove themselves from any of our workplaces and isolate themselves at home with their full contracted pay maintained.  In addition, we are also making separate provision for any team members who do not feel comfortable coming to work. 

Any of our people who have been affected by a store closure will receive 80% of their basic pay, in accordance with the measures announced for all employees.  In addition, we have committed to pay an additional 20% to ensure all employees affected by these closures will receive their full contractual pay for the next three weeks.  Furthermore, reflecting the current circumstances, we are paying our teams who remain at work in stores or distribution centres an additional 10% above their normal pay.

We are working intensively to increase our online capacity to allow as many customers as possible to place orders online and have set up a telephone line for customers who cannot access our website to place orders for home delivery. 

We will be following the government guidance extremely closely as it develops over the coming days and changing our business practices to reflect the changing landscape. 

We are doing all we can to balance being open for customers, protecting our teams and customers’ health, and ensuring Holland & Barrett can continue to offer employment to all our colleagues, now and in the future.