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Uk clothing retailer Next, online business reopenes

Image from:-REUTERS Simon Dawson

British clothing retailer Next (NXT.L) will reopen its online business after additional security measures have been implemented to cope with the emergency coronavirus, it said on Tuesday.

The online operation, which provides more than half the revenue from Next, has been closed since 26 March. On March 23, the retailer's stores were shut down a day before Britain went into lockdown.

Online businesses are allowed to remain open according to government guidelines.

"Since then, very extensive additional security measures have been implemented and, after consulting colleagues and our recognized union, USDAW, it will reopen online in a very limited way from today," the retailer said.

Initially only categories will be offered which customers need most, such as children's wear and selected small home items. Other range of products may be added at a later date.

Next said operations will begin with support from personnel who are willing and able to return to work safely.

"The idea is to start selling in low volumes, so that at any time we only need a small number of colleagues in each warehouse, helping to ensure compliance with rigorous social distance," he said.

The company will only allow customers to order the number of items it believes can be picked safely on any given day to attain these limited volumes.

Next will then stop taking orders at that point, and convert the website to "browse only" until the next morning.

Next shares, down 34 per cent so far in 2020, closed at 4,624 pence on Friday, valuing the company at 6.1 billion pounds ($7.65 billion).