Retailers including Aldi, John Lewis, Waitrose, Primark and Homebase are to shut their stores on the day of the Queen’s state funeral – while Morrisons has made its checkout beeps quieter and turned off PA systems.
Aldi said as a mark of respect its 970 UK stores would be closed on Monday 19 September “to allow our store colleagues to pay tribute to Her Majesty the Queen”.
John Lewis confirmed it would also shut its department stores, along with its sister company, Waitrose, all day for the funeral.
Andrew Murphy, the chief operating officer of John Lewis Partnership, said: “We will be closing our stores … as a mark of respect and because we believe this is the right thing to do for our partners and customers.”
The retailer said a limited number of Waitrose stores near the route of the funeral procession may remain open to serve members of the public. However, it said they would be closed during the funeral.
It is not yet clear if Morrisons plans to close its stores but the supermarket chain was the subject of reports that it had turned off the beeps at its checkouts as a mark of respect to the Queen – something it denied. Morrisons said: “Our checkout beeps are not off. They have just been turned down, as our music and tannoy announcements have been switched off in stores.”
Meanwhile, Primark said it would shut its 191 high street stores on Monday, which has been confirmed as a bank holiday.
A spokesperson said: “Our stores, depots and head office in the UK will be closed … to give our colleagues the opportunity to pay their respects and watch the funeral of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. We will reopen as normal on Tuesday 20 September.”
Homebase said it would also be closed, as did Harrods, which added: “We will continue to commemorate the life of Her Majesty the Queen and pay our respects by closing the store on the day of the state funeral.”
Retailers are not required to shut on the day of the funeral, and some may open for reduced hours, as many do on other bank holidays.
Government guidance states: “Some businesses may wish to consider closing or postponing events, especially on the day of the state funeral. However, this is at the discretion of individual businesses.”
Source: The Guardian