First, Waitrose is creating a £1 million Community Support Fund to be used as direct aid for the communities you and our Partners live and work in. Your local store will have these funds to support their local area based on the needs of the community.
Help will include setting up additional local delivery services to support people isolated in their homes; for delivering essential items to local care homes and community groups; and for donating products to create care packages for customers to share with vulnerable neighbours.
Next, Waitrose stores will dedicate the first hour of opening as a priority shopping time for the elderly, the vulnerable and those who look after them. Our waitrose.com team is also looking into ways to support vulnerable customers who need food delivered to them.
We have also taken the decision to close all Waitrose cafes and rotisseries, and to suspend complimentary coffee service for myWaitrose members. Sales of many in-demand products will be capped and we’ll close some stores early.
All this will free up extra hours for Partners to keep shelves stocked as well as spending more time with customers who need support.
At John Lewis, we are redeploying store Partners to help colleagues in Waitrose wherever it’s practical.
We’re also suspending services that involve close contact between customers and Partners. This includes our cafes, A Place To Eat and others that require skin contact, such as beauty counter treatments and bra-fitting. Nespresso and Kuoni will be closing their outlets too as a temporary measure.
Our online shopping service is continuing to run as normal at johnlewis.com
John Lewis is anticipating the feelings of loneliness and isolation customers may start to feel at home by exploring ways to offer its expert Partner-led services remotely. These could include nursery advice for expectant parents; wellbeing advice; craft and cookery classes provided by expert Partners online, or one-to-one calls.
We also care deeply about the wellbeing of our people. Our Partners are working long hours to meet your needs. And so today we launch a hardship fund to support those impacted by the pandemic. We thank them and we thank you for the patience and support you have shown them in the last weeks. We ask you to continue to show them care in such trying times.
Finally, as you’ll be only too aware, this is a rapidly-changing situation. We’ll continue to follow Government advice as it develops and will let you know if we need to make more changes.
In the meantime we would like to wish you and your families well.
Take good care,
Partner & Executive Director, Customer Service
John Lewis Partnership
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