// Dunelm wants to retool its curtain factory so it can make medical gowns for NHS staff
// CEO Nick Wilkinson agrees to 90% pay cut; chairman and board members will waive fees
// Follows news that Dunelm’s online site has resumed trading
Dunelm has confirmed that its chief executive has agreed to 90 per cent pay cut and revealed that it is retooling a curtain factory to make medical gowns for NHS workers.
The furniture retailer said it was working with the NHS to re-purpose its curtain production site in Leicester, although it was not using curtain materials to make the gowns.
It comes as chief executive Nick Wilkinson agreed to take a 90 per cent pay cut for the next three months amid the coronavirus pandemic, while the chairman and non-executive directors have waived all of their fees.
The news comes shortly after Dunelm confirmed that its online site has resumed trading after a phased restart and with new social distancing measures in place at its warehouses.
Apart from some two-man jobs, which are expected to start next week, deliveries are now “fully operational”, the retailer said.
“We remain focused on doing the right thing for our colleagues, customers and the communities where we operate, and I am pleased that we have safely reopened our online operations,” Wilkinson said.
“I am immensely grateful for the dedication and commitment of our colleagues and supplier partners who have demonstrated great agility and determination in a dynamic and unprecedented situation.”
Like most retailers, Dunelm is trying to save as much cash as it can to stay afloat while stores remain closed – and staff furloughed – due to the coronavirus lockdown.
Dunelm said it had been told it is eligible to get support loans from the Bank of England but it should not need to tap into these unless all its stores are closed for more than six months.
“Whilst many uncertainties remain, we have ensured that Dunelm and its many stakeholders will be well supported through this difficult period and are confident that we will emerge from this crisis as a stronger business ready to return to sustainable and profitable growth,” Wilkinson said.
The retailer is working to make sure that its stores are set up to comply with social distancing guidance when they are allowed to reopen.
with PA Wires