John Lewis suspends click and collect due to virus safety

John Lewis partnership

John Lewis is suspending its click and collect services and tightening safety measures after a “change in tone” from the government over the virus.

The department store will also pause in-home services, unless they are “essential to customers’ wellbeing”.

The retailer said it felt the changes were right with the country at a “critical point in the pandemic”.

However customers will be able to collect John Lewis orders from Waitrose stores.

Waitrose, which belongs to the John Lewis Partnership, is also tightening rules over face coverings, following moves from the other supermarkets to make face masks mandatory for shoppers unless they have a medical exemption.

“We’ve listened carefully to the clear change in tone and emphasis of the views and information shared by the UK’s governments in recent days,” said Andrew Murphy, Executive Director, Operations.

“While we recognise that the detail of formal guidance has not changed, we feel it is right for us – and in the best interests of our Partners and customers – to take proactive steps to further enhance our Covid-security and related operational policies.”

John Lewis said click and collect from its department stores would be switched off for new orders from the end of Tuesday.

Existing orders and bookings for services, such as installing washing machines, will still be carried out, if customers wish to proceed, but there will be no further bookings for non-essential services.

Many other shops from coffee chains to craft suppliers are offering click and collect services. However, with the continued rise in coronavirus cases the government is examining ways to reduce social contact further.

The book chain Waterstones stopped offering click and collect services from its shops at the start of the current lockdown.

Marks and Spencer said it was continuing to offer customers the opportunity to collect other items at its food halls, which are still open for grocery shopping.