Is Sports Direct open today? Coronavirus UK lockdown rules on essential and non-essential shops – The Sun
26th March 2020
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THE UK is on coronavirus lockdown with only essential stores remaining open.

Sports Direct cause controversy on Monday evening by announcing that they believed their product range was "vital" and they intended to stay open. Here is the latest.

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What did Sports Direct say when the UK lockdown was announced?

Immediately after Boris Johnson's speech announcing the lockdown, Sports Direct's parent company Fraser Group sent out a statement to all its 17,559 employees.

It read: “As the government rightly recognises in it’s guidance on social distancing, looking after physical and mental well-being during this unprecedented period of social isolation will be extremely important to prevent people ‘falling into unhealthy patterns of behaviour which in turn can make them feel worse.'

“Consequently, we are uniquely well placed to help keep the UK as fit and healthy as possible during this crisis and thus our Sports Direct and Evans Cycles stores will remain open."

SHOPS ALLOWED TO STAY OPEN

ONLY a small group of retailers will be allowed to stay open, they include: 

  • Supermarkets
  • Pharmacies
  • Takeaways and food deliveries
  • Health shops
  • Medical services – eg, dentists
  • Vets
  • Newsagents
  • Pet shops
  • Hardware stores
  • Retail shops in hospitals
  • Petrol stations
  • Bicycle shops
  • Laundrettes and dry cleaners
  • Undertakers
  • Banks, building socities
  • Short-term loan providers, credit unions and cash points
  • Storage and distribtion centres
  • Post Offices
  • Car rental services and car parks near vital services such as supermarkets
  • Public toilets
  • Car garages and repair shops
  • Food banks and shelters

“There is no one else that has the range of product and range of stores to make this reasonably accessible for the whole population.”

However, this statement drew criticism from across the country and from the government.

Tory MP and Cabinet Minister Michael Gove told Good Morning Britain: "My view is Mike Ashley should back off. We need to make sure that people stay open where possible.

"There's no reason for a store like Sports Direct to remain open."

Is Sports Direct open today?

Following a public backlash, Sports Direct opted to close all its stores.

Its merchandise is therefore only now available to purchase online.

Late on the night of Monday, March 23, Sports Direct began to backtrack on its position, tweeting a statement tagging Boris Johnson and asking: "We would like confirmation as to whether our Sports Direct and Evans Cycle fascias should open in the morning?"

SHOPS ALLOWED TO STAY OPEN

ONLY a small group of retailers will be allowed to stay open, they include: 

  • Supermarkets
  • Pharmacies
  • Takeaways and food deliveries
  • Health shops
  • Medical services – eg, dentists
  • Vets
  • Newsagents
  • Pet shops
  • Hardware stores
  • Retail shops in hospitals
  • Petrol stations
  • Bicycle shops
  • Laundrettes and dry cleaners
  • Undertakers
  • Banks, building socities
  • Short-term loan providers, credit unions and cash points
  • Storage and distribtion centres
  • Post Offices
  • Car rental services and car parks near vital services such as supermarkets
  • Public toilets
  • Car garages and repair shops
  • Food banks and shelters

And then on Tuesday morning, finance chief Chris Wootton stated: “To clarify … we will not open our Sports Direct or Evans Stores to the public, even though government policy excludes “bicycle shops” from closure, until we are given the go ahead by the government.

"Please note we are contacting them at all levels including attempting to get confirmation from the prime minister.”

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