Coronavirus: Selfridges closes UK stores; Harrods reduces opening hours

Selfridges temporarily closes stores amid coronavirus pandemic
Reports indicate that three employees reportedly tested positive for Covid-18, although this has not been confirmed by Selfridges.
// Selfridges to close its UK stores from today as part of a response to the coronavirus pandemic
// Harrods reduced opening hours & closed all its restaurants to protect its customers & 5000 staff
// Selfridges will shut down from 7pm tonight, but its online store will remain open

Selfridges is to temporarily close its UK stores from today as part of a response to the coronavirus pandemic, while rival Harrods has reduced its opening hours.

Aside from its world-famous flagship on Oxford Street in London, the luxury department store also has branches in Birmingham and Manchester.

While the stores will shut down from 7pm tonight, Selfridges said its website will remain open and continue to trade.


Reports indicate that three employees reportedly tested positive for Covid-18, although this has not been confirmed by Selfridges.

The retailer stated that the “health and wellbeing of our customers and team members is our utmost priority”.

There is no advice on how long the store closures will last.

“It is with a heavy heart that tonight we have made the decision to temporarily close our four physical stores in London, Birmingham and Manchester from 7pm tomorrow evening [Wednesday],” it said in a statement.

“We will continue to serve our global customers through and across our social channels until we can open our doors again.”

Meanwhile rival luxury department store Harrods has reduced opening hours and closed all its restaurants to protect its customers and 5000 staff.

“With this safety in mind, we have decided that for the first time, Harrods will reduce opening hours from our current hours of 10am–9pm to 11am–7pm until further notice,” it stated.

“Sunday hours will remain the same as usual.”

Jace Tyrrell, chief executive of industry group New West End Company which represents 600 retailers and businesses across London’s West End, said: “As we collectively face down the challenge of Covid-19, tough decisions need to be taken to prioritise the safety of staff and customers.

“Over the coming days we expect to see more businesses take pragmatic decisions to reduce opening hours and temporarily close their doors to provide long-term protection for employees and balance sheets.

“West End retail, entertainment and leisure has experienced many challenges and changes over its two century history, and I’m confident it has the strength to return renewed once restrictions are lifted.”

Click here to sign up to Retail Gazette‘s free daily email newsletter


  1. As someone that works in harrods, they are not protecting anyone. Hours are reduced but staff are working the same amount of hours. They only care about money, and just reduced the hours because it’s not as busy as usual, that’s the truth.

    • Same as Mark’s and Spencer. A few days back when I mentioned my husband and daughter were ill with temperature of 40.2 I was told…no come in please

      • That’s not what they’ve been doing in my local M&S store, and that isn’t what their policy is. If you are displaying symptoms, then you self isolate for 7 days; if you are in a household where someone else is displaying symptoms but not yourself, then you self isolate for 14 days to allow for the incubation period, both fully paid either way. I would suggest you talk to your line manager as you shouldn’t be there under the businesses own current guidelines.

  2. Thais Crazy!! Congrats to Selfridges While Harrods showing that the show must go on demonstrating they don’t care about workers
    But only about money

  3. It is embarrassing Harrods still open! That shows they don’t care about their staff and customers health just money!

  4. Harrods should close its doors, the place is iconic and a destination for tourists to visit, with it still opened it increases risks for people visiting and people who work there! Harrods should have taken the first step to close especially when their competitor has decided to close now

  5. Harrods won’t closed the store because if they closed the store before the government forced them to, insurance company won’t cover their loss. They clearly not look after their staff members, all about money money money money. You won’t see any floor manager or Harrods management on the shop floor because they are scared of the virus.

  6. Harrods HAVE had NUMEROUS cases of coronavirus but they are refusing to confirm it, floor managers pretending nothing is wrong and business as usual. Putting so may staff and CUSTOMERS at risk. Greedy. Well done to Selfridges for being transparent

  7. Harrods didn’t close all its restaurants but only half and the staff has been transferred in different departments… the others are still open..

  8. In Harrods half of the restaurants are still open and from the closed restaurants are moving people around in different departments increasing the risk to spread the virus if someone got it…

  9. Jeez! Get a grip on this Harrods malarkey. Never shop there again?? Then don’t ever shop there then.
    What about supermarkets that are still open?

  10. Harrods is not putting client and customer safely first. The opening hours are reduced but staff are actually working longer hours because there is now only one shift. Hand sanitiser in common areas is running out and not refilled quickly enough. Management are keeping quiet about confirmed cases. All restaurants are closed but the food hall is still open and things like bread and pastry is open for all to touch and cough on. It is impossible to keep areas sanitised and clean especially with the amount of tourist traffic

  11. If all retailers shut how will we eat? Its bad enough people fighting over toilet paper we need shops to provide goods for our survival How will the staff pay the rent, feed their kids etc?

  12. Reputation of Harrods is now damaged or if not yet it will.
    Have you notice there is no info about this poor situation for the workers?
    There is some cases of virus in store? I believe so but nobody’s saying anything
    That’s absurd and dangerous

  13. I work in Harrods for a luxury brand and I am Diabetic Type 1.
    As many of you are probably aware I am on that category in higher risk to be infected. Although the management was given the fact they have decided not to take any action. So I had to personally make the decision and stay at home. The only reply I got was that because I am in probation I won’t get paid.
    The canteen is still open, the lockers are one next to the other. Explain me where is the health condition maintaining the standards. Underground is shutting down and yet they are offering to pay ubers instead of closing and protecting people.
    The staff and the client are in danger but nobody cares. The only people left are those who are scared about not getting paid.
    Ridiculous and incredibly sad, I though Harrods was all about we stand for each other, we strive to exceed, we build trust and we take pride. All I see is we care about money.

  14. I wish harrods go down the drain. No one would buy luxury items. I wonder who in their right mind would even think of going into Harrods. I mean seriously?

  15. It’s OK for selfridges to close but the companys they sub contract ie cleaners maintenance don’t get paid but thir own staff do

  16. No work no pay for subcontract cleaner in Selfridges. Sad but that’s the truth. I won’t risk my health and my family for the money. Selfridges is close but our company GSA forcing us to work and risk ourselves.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here