Sports Direct Closes Stores Hours After Contacting British Prime Minister Boris Johnson

Tuesday, 24 March 2020
Yesterday evening, British sporting goods retailer caused quite some controversy as it contacted its workers to continue selling sports and fitness equipment despite the coronavirus pandemic. However, a few hours later, earlier today, Sports Direct announced that it closes its stores.

Sports Direct Last Large Sports Retailer Who Closes Stores

Sports Direct first claimed it is an ‘essential retailer’. After facing big criticism from all the part of the British society and politics, Chris Wootton, chief finance officer of owner Frasers Group, said its Sports Direct and Evans Cycles stores will now not open on Tuesday.

He said in a “clarification” that they will remain shut, despite stating that government policy “excludes bicycle shops from closure”. Stores will not reopen until “given the go-ahead by the government”.

The retailer said it is contacting the Government “at all levels” in an attempt to get confirmation from the prime minister.

Earlier this week, the group wrote to all workers within 30 minutes of prime minister Boris Johnson’s decision to shut down non-essential retailers, telling them its position selling sporting and fitness equipment made it a vital asset during a national shutdown.

In the original letter, Wootton said: “Against the backdrop of the closure of gyms the demand for these types of products has increased exponentially as the population looks to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

“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 where possible to allow us to do this (in accordance with the Government’s current social distancing guidance).”

Rival retailers such as JD Sports as well as the stores of brands like Adidas and Nike have had their stores shut down since a few days already. The stores will remain shut until government guidance changes.

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