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Coronavirus: Next makes U-turn on shutting warehouses

Next retail shop

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PA Media

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Next said it has listened to its staff and taken the decision to close its online operations

Fashion retailer Next has reversed its decision to keep warehouses open during the coronavirus lockdown.

Bosses had faced criticism from staff who felt they were being pressurised into going to work.

The Leicester-based firm shut all its online operations on Thursday evening and stopped taking orders.

It said it had “listened carefully” to staff who “increasingly feel they should be at home in the current climate.”

On Wednesday the company, which is one of the UK’s biggest fashion chains, offered a 20% pay rise to workers willing to continue working on orders.

However, shortly after Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced details of the Government’s support package for employers, Next changed its decision.

With pressure from MPs and reports of workers in warehouses not adhering to social distancing, it made the latest announcement on Thursday evening.

“Next will not be taking any more online orders until further notice,” it added.

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