Coronavirus: Co-op mulls 60 store closures to continue operating

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co-op covid-19 Steve Murrells
Co-op will continue feeding the nation but has placed 60 stores under review
// Co-op puts 60 stores under review
// The store closures could be as a result of colleagues needing to self-isolate or a lack of visits in that particular area
// CEO Steve Murrells said the retailer will continue to feed the “needy”

The Co-op has reportedly said it will continue to deliver food to the “needy” amid the coronavirus pandemic, but more shops may have to close their doors.

The retailer has closed 10 stores and has put another 60 under review as group chief executive Steve Murrells said Co-op has been “at the epicentre” of scurried panic buyers, This Is Money reported.

Co-op currently has over 60,000 staff and more than 2500 stores in the UK.


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Murrells estimated that stores can remain operational with an absence rate of up to 25 per cent.

He added that Co-op is working to keep shops open and ensure supplies arrive every day while also putting measures in place to protect staff.

As lockdown takes hold, Co-op puts stores under review as Murrells said there are areas where stores may need to close due to self-isolation of colleagues, or a lack of visits.

Murrells has liaised with cafe and restaurant chains such as Caffè Nero – which have been ordered to close for not being essential – in a bid to draft 5000 more staff on to the front line.

The grocery retailer said on Friday it had filled all 5000 temporary store jobs in a record seven days following an “unprecedented” response to its recruitment drive.

In addition, it will donate £1.5 million to food banks, and a further £4.5 million to other local causes and charities over the next two weeks.

In recent weeks, supermarkets have seen their shelves stripped bare as panic buyers shopped. Many have had to introduce new rationing rules to prevent the nation from stockpiling.

Murrells said there is enough food to go round and consumers must “stay calm” to allow everyone access to food.

To ensure maximum protection is installed for colleagues, Co-op has provided them with gloves and perspex screens to minimise the risk of Covid-19 transmission.

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