Coronavirus: The Range named “worst of British” business for staying open

The Range Alexander Simpkin
Coronavirus: The Range named "worst of British" business for staying open
// The Range faces backlash after staying open as most of its goods are non-essential
// The retailer has 180 stores across the UK

The Range has faced criticism for remaining open amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The retailer, which has 180 stores across the country, sells home, leisure and garden items, was “classified as an essential retailer” because it sells food, pet food and toilet rolls.

One council leader described the retailer as an example of “the worst of British” business for being open during the lockdown.


Basildon council leader Gavin Callaghan said The Range was putting staff at risk as most of its goods are non-essential.

Meanwhile, the retailer said it was paying “strict adherence” to government guidelines.

Callaghan wrote to The Range’s chief executive Alexander Simpkin saying the retailer was exploiting government legislation “in order to maximise profits at this time”.

“You are forcing my residents to travel to work to provide non-essential services, therefore putting their lives, the lives of your customers and their families at risk,” Callaghan said.

The Range spokesman said: “The Range has been classified as an essential retailer by the UK government.”

“We therefore continue to open to serve our community and customers in these challenging times. In doing so we are tightly adhering to all social distancing government guidance.”

It added that safety measures included entrance marshalling, controlled customer numbers, sanitising stations, two metre floor markings and perspex screens.

The government-mandated lockdown has seen major retailers shut their doors while grocers have experienced a surge in demand.

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  1. I hope people remember this after the economy gets back on a level footing. The Range should be avoided at all costs.

  2. The Range should only be able to sell “essential” goods if it is open during the 2nd lockdown.
    That does not include photo frames, mirrors, artificial flowers etc etc etc.

  3. The Customer Service Team and Directors of this company must be all in the parlour counting out their money made during Covid restrictions . They certainly are not answering the phone or emails about their shoddy goods or disgraceful non existent customer service…I have tried emailing and phoning all to no avail. I’m on a pension waiting to receive either a refund of my money or the correct undamaged Christmas tree I ordered.

  4. Hi, why are people & a councillor being so narrow minded & picking on one store, we need to look at the bigger picture. Yes they sell essential & non essential goods but hey so do all the supermarkets. If the rule to sell essential goods only it should apply to all supermarkets. The problem lies with the consumer most abide by the safe shopping rules, whereas others do not mask up,touch whatever they see & stroll around non essential goods. Shouldn’t they keep their hands off unless they touch to put in their trolley/basket to purchase.
    As for the councillor get a grip, there is so much going on in the world, come on, put your energy into helping were it really matters
    Keep safe & stay well

  5. Way to many people in the stores, at one point staff didn’t wear masks how can that be?
    The queuing out side is a joke to, queuing on the path, where other member of the public walk, what about the 2 meters apart. The Range should be helping and sticking to the rules.

  6. The range had not taken the safety the their staff or the public into account at anyone time members off staff in the Edgelane store in Liverpool, their one day day last week when their was 267 people in the store at one time when a member of floor staff told the management they were worried and this is not the first times its always to full went their once and walked back out staff did report it to police but no action was taken but something needs to be done,

  7. Why should it not stay open ??
    If it wasn’t for this store being open , we would have very bored people at home , you could order online, but having to wait for stuff to arrive is a pain.
    DIY and crafting has kept me busy as not able to go swimming .
    So I thank The Range for staying open

  8. What people seem to forget is just because it’s not essential to you doesn’t mean it isn’t essential to someone else. There maybe people who have found a hobby after giving up smoking, had to quit drinking, mental health issues etc. People need to stop being judgemental of others just because it isn’t what the would do.


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