Mar 18, 2020
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Browns shuts stores and HQ, Selfridges stores close, but Harrods is open for now

Mar 18, 2020

Selfridges and Browns have become the latest luxury retailers to announced temporary store closures with the Selfridges decision coming just a day after it had unveiled a plan for shorter hours. 


Its London, Birmingham and Manchester stores have closed on the back of the coronavirus pandemic. In a letter sent to all customers, it said: “It is with a heavy heart that tonight we have made the decision to temporarily close our four physical stores from 7pm [Wednesday] evening”. Its webstore remains open.

As footfall to physical shopping streets and malls drops precipitously, it seems that any brave consumers who do venture out are likely to find few stores open. And the closure of a destination store such as Selfridges will have a knock-on effect that would render a visit to London’s West End, for instance, even less fruitful.

Meanwhile, in a letter, Browns’ CEO Holli Rogers said the “unprecedented” situation has forced it to take the decision to close.

“As CEO of Browns, I have led with the motto ‘cool to be kind’ and I stand by this today,” she said. “Whilst we have been protecting and safeguarding the environments of our Browns South Molton Street flagship store and Browns East store to ensure health and wellbeing are top notch, we have taken the decision to temporarily close our stores along with our HQ and help mitigate the risk of spreading COVID-19. This is an exceptional time, and preventative measures around social distancing are required having taken the advice of the WHO, the NHS and the British government”.

Again, the webstore for the Farfetch-owned business continues to operate.

Harrods hasn’t decided to close just yet, although its footfall that’s heavily dependent on tourists is likely to be down. The company has cut opening times by three hours a day and is closing a number of its restaurants. 

It’s also increasing its cleaning and sanitation procedures across the store and support areas and its in-house doctors and nurses have been running drop-in sessions, floor walks and video seminars.

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