The Government has updated its current advice regarding the closure of non-essential businesses to now include kitchen and bathroom showrooms. The advice now states that any business not listed as one of the essential businesses must close, including 'showrooms open to the public for products used in homes, including bathrooms, kitchens and glazing'. Hardware stores and builders' merchants may remain open, but where these stores have showrooms in designated sections, the showroom areas must be closed to the public.
According to the advice, all businesses may continue to offer delivery and click-and-collect services (where items are pre-ordered and collected without entering the premises). The advice to tradespeople who need to visit other people's homes for their work is that they may continue to do so as long as they the follow the existing Government guidelines for safe working. The latest advice does not affect construction sites, manufacturers, storage and distribution facilities or builders' merchants without showrooms.
KBSA national chair Richard Hibbert said: “It is regrettable that showrooms must close but it is welcome that the guidance is now very clear and we have a level playing field for all kitchen and bathroom retailers. We have advised our members of this change and have also reassured them that we will continue our efforts to ensure that the level playing field is maintained. We are aware that some showrooms such as Wren and Magnet are still open, and are continuing our dialogue with BEIS and Trading Standards to address this and protect our member’s interests.
“This change only applies to showrooms in England. In Wales showrooms are currently open and in Scotland, where they have a five-tier system, showrooms in all tiers can also remain open.
“Our support networks remain in place for members to discuss any issues and our HR and legal partners will continue their relevant updates and webinars to help members negotiate their way through this challenging period."
CEO of the Bathroom Manufacturers Association, Tom Reynolds, said: "Everyone in the bathroom industry is keen to prioritise safety at this difficult time. It is disappointing that KBB retailers and showrooms have been directed to close their doors now, over a fortnight after lockdown restrictions started. On a more positive note, the Government has been clear that repair, maintenance and improvement work can continue including in people's homes."
The updated advice can be found here.