Police called to Home Bargains’ South Shields store over social distancing row

Police called to Home Bargains' South Shields store over social distancing row
A Northumbria Police spokesperson confirmed an officer attended the South Shields store yesterday.
// Police called to Home Bargains store in South Shields over social distancing row
// Staff also staged a walk out over concerns on how many people were allowed in the store
// Home Bargains has denied any failings and confirmed that social distancing measures were still in place

Police were called to a Home Bargains store near Newcastle yesterday over social distancing concerns that even prompted a staff walk out.

Local media reported that the retailer’s store on Millbank Industrial Estate, South Shields, was not observing social distancing rules amid rumours that the measures had been lifted.

A Northumbria Police spokesperson confirmed an officer attended the store yesterday but took no further action, although they said they would continue to monitor the situation.

READ MORE: Home Bargains sales reach £2.5bn amid rapid expansion

Home Bargains has also denied it has done anything wrong and reiterated that the correct health and safety procedures remain in place as the coronavirus pandemic continues.

The retailer also said bosses have visited the site to ensure the rules were being followed.

“All of our stores currently have social distancing procedures in place, including our South Shields store,” a Home Bargains spokesperson said.

“Members of our senior management team have visited the site today to ensure that all relevant procedures are being followed and to reassure staff and customers after concerns were initially raised.

“We have also spoken with Northumbria Police, who have confirmed that they are happy with our social distancing arrangements in store.”

Shop floor staff and customers had raised concerns that two metre distances were not being followed and there was no longer a queue nor a limit on the number of people in the South Shields Home Bargains store at any time.

According to ChronicleLive, the concerns prompted between 12-15 shop floor staff, out of a total of between 30-40, to stage a walk out in the morning.

However, some later returned to work.

The police spokesperson said: “We can confirm that police were called to the Home Bargains store at Millbank Industrial Estate today (Monday) shortly after 11am following social distancing concerns at the store.

“An officer visited the store and spoke to management.

“We are satisfied that social distancing measures remain in place at the store and we will monitor the situation.”

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


  1. Some people have stooped so low as to spread tittle-tattle with a view of getting others impeached. You’ll find that most of the population have already had strain 1 of coronavirus and they are alive and well. So social distancing really doesn’t matter for most people. It is diabolical that the UK government has forced closure of so many businesses which provide workers with the means to pay for the roofs over their heads. They have, in effect, ruined the economy and caused a massive resurgence of debt for the people of the UK to pay in higher future taxes. Social distancing is ridiculous at this stage of the pandemic, and people should ask questions as to whether there is a hidden agenda in the government’s policies aimed at controlling the population for future events. In a stroke, citizens have meekly lost their freedom without so much as a murmur, like lambs to the slaughter.

    • The virus spreads easily, if too many people get it at the same time the NHS will be overwhelmed and people who would otherwise survive will die because of a lack of resources. Not abiding by this is basically saying **** old people, **** anyone going through chemo, **** people with health conditions.

  2. They have relaxed the 25 people limit, same in Perth, it was like a normal days shopping in there the other day.

  3. Sophie Scholl is clearly an acknowledged expert in epidemiology, or alternatively a left wing activist and more probably, a member of the flat earth society.

  4. Geoff Earnshaw is clearly an acknowledged expert in epidemiology, or alternatively a right wing activist and more probably, a member of the flat earth society…just like Sophie Scholl.

  5. Sweden, Norway, South Korea and Holland have got the balance right (based on available information at present). It is difficult to predict when early misinformation from China caused misplaced optimism that it didn’t spread human to human and whistle blowing doctors mysteriously died or disappeared. What is now clear is the Knightingale hospitals were not needed (thank God) but I guess it’s not over yet …..

    More resources should have gone into PPE, logistics, testing, tracking and entry port screening/restrictions rather than vanity PR projects which with the benefit of hindsight were overkill.

    It is a terrible tragedy that many frontline folks have died, but the vast majority of deaths have been in the 70 plus age group, many in their 80s and 90s in care homes that probably had a limited life expectancy and limited quality of life in some cases, and would have succumbed to something in the not too distant future anyway.

    We do place a value on life – we don’t fit seat belts to trains because the overall cost outweighs the lives saved in aggregate. Similarly the cost of saving lives for this epidemic is probably more than the per capita value normally placed on human life. I remember Lord Prescott promising seat belts after the train crash in Hatfield(?) but it never happened.

    The survival of the fittest is an inescapable fact of nature. I grieve for anyone affected, but these things happen (thankfully rarely). Just as planes crash and thugs knife each other. Whether the economic cost is worth the lives saved, I don’t know, but I do know managing public information and PR implications weigh heavily on the minds of politicians – and managing their “legacy”.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here