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River Island closes distribution centre

Published
Mar 27, 2020
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River Island has added its name to the growing list of fashion brands that have halted online operations to allow warehouse staff to stay at home.


River Island


The clothing company’s distribution centre in Milton Keynes has now temporarily closed, as well as all stores across the UK.

Online orders are still being taken, but River Island said it could take weeks before customers receive their purchases.

CEO Will Kernan said: “I am proud of the dedication of the River Island workforce in response to the huge challenges that we are all facing. The difficult choices we have made are to protect the health of our employees who are crucial to the long-term success of our business. I am saddened that this decision will have an impact on customers and partners and apologise for the inconvenience that they will experience until we re-open.”

River Island’s decision to close its warehouse contrasts with Asos, which is trying to keep the business running, despite some criticism.

While non-essential stores must remain closed during the lockdown to prevent the spread of coronavirus and save lives, online retail is still open and encouraged. But the government’s advice to self isolate for at least seven days if you are experiencing symptoms, coupled with social distancing measures are making it hard for companies to have enough staff numbers to operate as normal. 

Next, Schuh and Moss Bros are some of the fashion retailers that have stopped taking online orders to protect the health of their workers.

Speaking about the warehouse closure, Will Kernan added: “I cannot say how long this closure is likely to remain in place, however we will be working to re-open as quickly as possible whilst strictly following government advice to ensure the safety of our communities. 

“In the meantime, I would encourage customers to join our online social community where we will be in regular contact to ensure that we all stay connected and everyone can be updated about developments.”

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