The retailer says it is right for it to take proactive steps to enhance Covid-19 security.
The department store chain John Lewis has said it will temporarily suspend its click & collect service in a move aimed at encouraging the British to stay at home during the third national lockdown.
While click & collect will still be available at the chain’s Waitrose stores, which are classed as essential and therefore still open to shoppers, the service will end in John Lewis stores.
The decision comes amidst growing concern that lockdown restrictions are not being followed closely enough by many people. With infections and deaths still at record highs, and warnings that the worst may yet be to come, the government is facing calls to introduce even tougher measures in an attempt to curb the spread of the virus.
Andrew Murphy, executive director, operations, said: “We are acutely aware that the country is at a critical point in the pandemic and are constantly thinking about how best the partnership and our partners can play our part in limiting the spread and impact of the virus”.
He added: “We’ve listened carefully to the clear change in tone and emphasis of the views and information shared by the UK governments in recent days. While we recognise that the detail of formal guidance has not changed, we feel it is right for us – and in the best interests of our partners and customers – to take proactive steps to further enhance our covid-security and related operational policies.”
Secretary of State for Health, Matt Hancock, has reportedly said that he’s “grateful” to John Lewis for abandoning the service, and industry pundits have speculated that his comments will put implicit pressure on other retailers to do the same.
Elsewhere, Morrisons and Sainsbury’s have announced bans on customers without face coverings, while Tesco, Asda and Waitrose have all said they will turn away people who refuse to wear masks unless they are medically exempt. The move has been largely welcomed by shoppers and staff.