// Retailers have been urged by the business secretary to continue trading online
// The online offering is a “vital lifeline” for the nation during the coronavirus crisis
Business secretary Alok Sharma has urged UK retailers to continue trading online “as a vital lifeline” for the nation amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
Sharma wrote in an open letter yesterday to those working in the retail sector to state that goods supplied by online retailers “make a real difference to our ability to get through this national crisis together”.
He also highlighted items ordered online to support home working, education or entertainment.
Sharma said retail employees that need to travel to work should continue to do so in line with the chief medical officer’s advice.
“Whether you’re working in a shop, large or small, or in a distribution centre or supply chain supporting retailers operating online, I would like to convey my heartfelt and personal thanks for everything that you are doing to support our joint national effort,” Sharma said.
“Each and every one of you is making a valuable contribution to the economy and the communities you serve, keeping our supply chains up and running to contribute to the UK’s efforts to defeat coronavirus.”
The news comes after multichannel retailers that were operating outside of what the government designated as essential, faced backlash from unions and consumers for trading online.
However, Sharma said retailers should continue to operate safely when following the government’s workplace guidance as well as the BRC’s guide on social distancing in warehouses and distribution centres.