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Online Shopping from Next Made Available Again

Wednesday, April 15, 2020 - 10:41 by Paul Tissington

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This week sees fashion outlet Next reintroduce the option for customers to place orders via safe shopping online following the temporary suspension of its e-commerce activities in response to the ongoing pandemic.

The company had not only closed its bricks and mortar outlets in line with government requirements but had also stopped selling online because of concerns about the safety of its warehouse staff.

After almost two weeks of downtime, Next has managed to partially reintroduce its e-commerce offerings as a result of making significant changes to the way that its distribution infrastructure operates to protect employees from unnecessary risks.

For the time being the number of sales it will be handling will be much lower than normal to limit exposure and make up for the fact that it is giving staff the option to choose to work only if they feel able.

In terms of how the warehouses are now being organised to stop staff getting infected, social distancing measures have been put in place, extra cleaning kits are being rolled out and hand washing is being encouraged.

In terms of the online shopping experience, customers will only have a limited number of products that can be purchased within a given 24-hour period. Once this cap has been hit, the site will no longer allow any more orders to be placed until the start of the next day.

The idea of keeping the capacity down to a minimum in order to ensure that staff can stay safe will likely be followed by other retailers, especially those that have also taken steps to stop offering online shopping to customers in recent weeks in order to reassess internal practices. This should mean that those outlets which had been effectively offline will now begin to pick up orders again this week.