// 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.