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KBB showrooms ordered to close

November 2020

All KBB showrooms in England must lock their doors under shock new government rules, says a news report on https://www.kbbreview.com.

This major U-turn directly contradicts the formal government direction given to the KBSA, on November 4 – the day before the lockdown began – telling them that KBB showrooms CAN open as they are classified as building suppliers.

However, the government has now backtracked and according to its official online guidelines the list of retail businesses that must close specifically now includes “showrooms open to the public for products used in homes, including bathrooms, kitchens and glazing”.

The KBSA has confirmed the news, saying it believes the guidelines were updated on November 16 and that it is now advising kitchen and bathroom showrooms in England to close.

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.”

The guidance goes on to state that “all premises, whether or not required to close, can be accessed by the site owners or managers, staff or people authorised by them for the purpose of maintenance, repairs or other work to ensure readiness to reopen at a point where this is permitted, such as receiving deliveries of supplies.”

The guidelines confirm that installation can continue to do so, providing they follow the safer working rules.

While the major UK tile retailers currently remain open (hai8ng concluded that they fall into the “essential goods” category), the government website covering the Covid-19 rules currently in place for retailers, has the following two statements, which would seem to leave the position of tile retailers unclear. 

Businesses and venues which must close

To reduce social contact, the regulations require some businesses to close and impose restrictions on how some businesses provide goods and services. These include:

  • Non-essential retail, such as clothing and homeware stores, vehicle showrooms (other than for rental), betting shops, tailors, tobacco and vape shops, electronic goods and mobile phone shops, and market stalls selling non-essential goods. These venues can continue to be able to operate click-and-collect (where goods are pre-ordered and collected off the premises) and delivery services

Businesses and venues which can remain open

Other businesses and venues are permitted to stay open, following COVID-19 Secure guidelines. This includes those providing essential goods, including:

  • Essential retail such as food shops, supermarkets, pharmacies, garden centres, hardware stores, building merchants and off-licences.

TSJ advises retailers who have doubts concerning which set of rules apply to their business to visit The Tile Association website for the latest guidance and information at: www.tiles.org.uk

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