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Schuh shuts online amid health advice confusion

Footwear retailer Schuh has temporarily closed its website, following the closure of its stores, amid mixed messages from the Scottish and UK governments about staff safety during the coronavirus outbreak.

The business, which has its head office and distribution in Scotland, said UK government guidelines say online retail should “still open and is encouraged”, along with advice that if staff cannot reasonably work from home, they should continue to go into work.

However, it said that Scottish government advice conflicts with this, so it has decided to close its online operations until there is updated UK and Scottish government advice.

It added that some distribution centre staff continue to indicate that they want to work in the Warehouse to support the Schuh online business, along with other departmental employees, who have also offered their support. All Schuh employees will continue to be paid in the interim.

Colin Temple, Schuh CEO, said: “Our people, both employees and customers alike, are at the heart of our business. As always and particularly during these trying times, we want to ensure we put their health and wellbeing first. Therefore, we have taken the decision to temporarily close our website as well as our stores, to ensure the safety of our teams and customers.”

Schuh staff have access to a wellbeing service where there is confidential support, including counselling, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and critical incident support, as well as hardship grants and legal guidance.

Schuh said it will continue to offer all “blue light” emergency service workers a permanent discount, when it reopens, of 20% off everything.

It is also working with its official mental health charity, The Mix, which provides support to under 25s, to share regular advice on mental wellness during the pandemic.


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