UPDATE: Sports Direct says stores including Salisbury's will now close

UPDATE: Sports Direct says stores including Salisbury's will now close

Published by The Spire FM News Team at 6:43am 24th March 2020. (Updated at 8:13am 24th March 2020)

3 minute read

The chain had planned to defy government advice saying its shops were vital to the health of the nation.

LATEST UPDATE: At 8am on Tuesday 24th March, Sports Direct announced it WILL NOT open its stores today, after telling staff it intended to open them.

This is contrary to its original plan, which is outlined in our previous report below...



Sports Direct had planned to open its stores today.

The move comes despite tough new measures announced by Boris Johnson last night that all UK shops selling non-essential goods should close immediately.

He also made it clear that only key workers should be travelling to work and people should only be going to shops in order to buy food or collect medicines and prescriptions.

The prime minister also said people could leave home for exercise, but only with people they are living with.

The sports retailer says it has no plans to shut because it sells equipment designed for exercising at home. 

Shortly after the PM's announcement the finance chief of Frasers Group, which includes Sports Direct and Evan's Cycles, wrote to all staff.

Chris Wootton suggests the company's outlets are essential in the fight against COVID-19 and that staff were therefore key workers.

"We stock a huge range of sports equipment designed for exercising at home from yoga mats, gym balls, skipping ropes, weights, indoor and outdoor trampolines, resistance bands through to bikes, treadmills, rowing machines, static exercise bikes, multigyms, fitness clothing and footwear in order for people to remain fit and healthy during this period of isolation, indeed home fitness is the number one trending topic on social media after coronavirus itself. Against the backdrop of the closure of gyms the demand for these types of products has increased exponentially as the population looks to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Consequently, we are uniquely well placed to help keep the UK as fit and healthy as possible during this crisis and thus our Sports Direct and Evans Cycles stores will remain open where possible to allow us to do this (in accordance with the Government's current social distancing guidance). 

There is no one else that has the range of product and range of stores to make this reasonably accessible for the whole population."

Meanwhile the company tweeted the Prime Minister prompting some strong responses.


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