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26 Mar 2020

James Davey, Reuters

UK: Next closes online operation during pandemic in response to warehouse workers' health fears

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"Britain's Next shuts online operation to protect workers", 26 March 2020

...British fashion chain Next... has bowed to pressure from workers worried about their health and shut its online business, cutting off its remaining source of revenue during the coronavirus outbreak...

“Next has listened very carefully to its colleagues working in warehousing and distribution operations to fulfil online orders. It is clear that many increasingly feel they should be at home in the current climate,” the company said. “Next has therefore taken the difficult decision to temporarily close its online, warehousing and distribution operations,”...

Next said in a letter to staff late on Thursday that its warehouse and distribution staff will be paid their full contracted basic pay until April 11. They will then fall under the UK government-backed job retention scheme, announced last week, amounting to 80% of basic monthly pay.