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East Anglian retail chain closes ‘with heavy heart’ due to coronavirus crisis

PUBLISHED: 09:05 31 March 2020 | UPDATED: 09:06 31 March 2020

QD store in Stowmarket  Picture: GOOGLEMAPS

QD store in Stowmarket Picture: GOOGLEMAPS

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Value retailer QD has announced it is temporarily closing all its stores as a result of the coronavirus crisis.

QD - which until now had decided to stay open to provide shoppers with essentials – said it is now closing all its stores from the evening of Monday, March 30.

The closure also affects the group’s Cherry Lane Garden Centres and Thing-Me-Bobs value convenience stores. However, online sales will remain available.

MORE – QD stores remain open after non-essential shops ordered to close due to coronavirus

Group chief executive Nick Rubins thanked the chain’s “amazing” staff who have done “an incredible job in providing our communities with the products they needed, when they needed them most”.

“We have supplied hundreds of thousands of toilet rolls, food galore from pasta to strawberry jam, pet food for our four-legged friends and countless bottles of cleaning products,” he said.

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“However, it has come to a point where the wellbeing of our colleagues and customers is more important than anything else.

“As the Covid-19 infection rates multiply and the strain on the NHS increases, it is with a heavy heart that we have made the very difficult decision to temporarily close all of our stores, despite our classification as an essential retailer.

The QD Group team had been “outstanding during this exceptionally tough time”, he said as he offered a “big thank you” to staff and customers for their continued support.

“We will be back serving our communities as soon as we safely can,” he added.

The firm has 45 QD stores across Norfolk, Suffok, Essex and Cambridgeshire, including at Stowmarket, Hadleigh, Sudbury, Halstead, Clacton, Newmarket, Saffron Walden, Beccles and Lowestoft. The business’s online shopping portals at www.QualityDiscounts.com and www.cherry-lane.co.uk are remaining open.

Mr Rubins said: “Please take care of each other and stay healthy and, most importantly of all, if you can, stay home, save lives.”

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