QD stores remain open after non-essential shops ordered to close due to coronavirus
PUBLISHED: 15:43 24 March 2020 | UPDATED: 16:14 24 March 2020
A family-owned East Anglian discount retailer says it is remaining open for essentials as non-essential high street store closures were stepped up in the wake of the coronavirus crisis.
QD – QualityDiscounts.com, said its 45 stores across Suffolk, Norfolk, Essex and Cambridgeshire would stay open following prime minister Boris Johnson’s virtual shutdown of the high street.
“All QD stores, will be open as they are classed as an essential service retailer,” it said.
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The essential goods it provides includes food and drink, toiletries, essential household products, medicine and pet food, it added.
However, it added that extra precautions were being put in place to ensure staff and shoppers were protected.
QD has stores in towns including Stowmarket, Hadleigh, Sudbury, Halstead, Clacton, Newmarket, Saffron Walden, Beccles and Lowestoft.
Group operations director Karl Ottolangui said: “Our stores are permitted to remain open following instructions from the UK government.
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“However, our priority is the protection of our staff and, to that end, measures are being put in place at all tills and other areas where staff and customers interact to ensure social distancing.
“Our customers have, not surprisingly, been highly receptive to social distancing measures and these will be stepped up at all our stores to continue to keep ours staff and our customers protected.
“We echo the government’s message in urging everyone to stay at home unless they absolutely have to go out to shop for essential items.”
Over the last week, the company has closed all their coffee shops, play barns and play centres but all stores have remained open.
QD group chief executive, Nick Rubins, said it was “a very challenging time for everybody”. “Proud is an understatement of how I feel about the QD team,” he said.
“I would like to thank our staff for their continued hard work to provide our loyal customers with vital everyday items during this challenging time.”
QD stores said it would keep to current opening hours but was monitoring the situation daily.
The QD Group also owns the Thing-Me-Bobs chain, which has five stores, and has 14 Cherry Lane Garden Centres across the country
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