Evans Cycles will reopen 11 of its stores after initially closing all its bricks and mortar outlets for the current coronavirus lockdown.
Despite orders to shut most retail stores, the UK government confirmed that UK bike shops are allowed to stay open, classing them as essential retailers. Evans owner Mike Ashley attracted criticism for vowing to keep Sports Direct stores open during the lockdown, before eventually apologising and bowing to pressure by closing them. Evans’ bricks and mortar stores were closed at the same point.
Now, almost a dozen will be opened to help keep key workers on the move and provide assistance to the increasing number of people travelling by bike for essential journeys.
In close consultation with Evans staff, a selection of stores within key cities and built up areas have been re-opened by those who have volunteered to return to work and are keen to play their part in supporting key workers during the virus outbreak, the retailer said.
Strict safety measures have been introduced to the re-opened stores, including limiting how many customers can enter at any given time, marking out ‘two metre zones’ throughout the shop floor and eradicating touchpoints within the payment process.
Evans Cycles will continue to offer a free bike MOT to key workers, to help those on the front-line travel safely.
A spokesperson said: “We have already seen that the bicycle is becoming a preferred means to keep key workers moving. With this in mind, where it is possible and safe to do so, a selection of our stores will reopen focusing on essential maintenance services or to provide parts that will help people stay safe on the road. Early feedback from customers has been very positive and they clearly value the support we are providing at this time.
“This is not business as usual. Maintaining the wellbeing of our store colleagues and customers is essential and, as such, stores will follow stringent measures on social distancing and cleanliness. We urge all customers to follow the Government’s guidance and only travel to our stores where necessary. We will continue to review which stores are open, ensuring we strike the right balance between providing essential services and protecting the health of colleagues and customers.”
Where possible, customers are encouraged to use the online shop and home delivery service. Evans Cycles ‘Click and Collect’ service has also been suspended.
Evans Cycles spokesperson continued: “All of the staff at Evans Cycles would like to sincerely thank customers for their continued support in these uncertain times. Their patience and loyalty as we work through this rapidly developing situation is greatly appreciated. The team is doing everything possible to maintain high customer service standards during these extraordinary times.”