// 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.
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.”