Sainsbury’s makes use of ‘loophole’ to maintain Argos open

Woman walks past a Sainsbury's store with an Argos outlet insideImage copyright Getty Images

Sainsbury’s has been accused of exploiting a loophole to maintain Argos retailers open in the course of the UK lockdown.

Under authorities restrictions, all non-essential outlets have been closed for the previous week. As supermarkets are an exception, Argos concessions inside Sainsbury’s outlets stay open.

But staff fear well being dangers and clients stated they need to be shut.

Sainsbury’s stated individuals can solely purchase objects on the in-store Argos retailers if they’ve already paid for them on-line.

“Like many other online retailers, we are selling essential products for the millions of people now living and working entirely from home,” a Sainsbury’s spokesperson informed the BBC.

“This contains merchandise for the home workplace, for educating and entertaining kids and for adults to remain match and entertained at home.

“We are then strongly advising customers to have these delivered to their homes. We also have an option to collect from Sainsbury’s supermarkets while doing an essential food shop.”

Non-essential objects?

One unnamed employee, quoted in proof revealed by the House of Commons enterprise choose committee on Monday, stated: “Argos is at the moment utilizing the loophole of getting shops in a grocery store [Sainsbury’s] to proceed to commerce as regular, regardless of nearly all the pieces being bought being non-essential within the present disaster.

“Paddling pool, play sand, wardrobes, TVs, video video games and console, all non-essential. As the standalone shops are closed, that is driving large numbers of individuals to assemble of their shops, to the purpose the place individuals are queuing throughout the entire Sainsbury’s.

“They are actively encouraging, on their web site, individuals to go and purchase these non-essential objects in these shops.

“They are additionally forcing all Argos staff from their closed standalone shops, to go and work within the shops which are nonetheless buying and selling, or a neighborhood Sainsbury’s, relatively than permitting them to remain at home (the place the federal government says they need to be).

“If they refuse, they are being sent home without pay and refused furlough. These actions are surely going to undermine the government’s plans to contain this pandemic, leading to the deaths of hundreds, if not thousands of vulnerable people.”

Another Argos worker tweeted: “Argos is making us standalone retailer staff go to Argos in Sainsbury’s shops that are nonetheless open or work within the supply hub or we DON’T GET PAID.

“For me this means public transport, further increasing my risk.”

Another worker, Beau Wood, tweeted: “People are travelling all over to pick up Nintendo Switch consoles and trampolines, most are not picking up ESSENTIALS in Sainsbury’s either, just using Argos, enticing people out when they should be at home.”

It isn’t just workers who’re pissed off. Accountant, Sarah Robinson tweeted that she was “disgusted” that Argos had stored a few of its retailers open.

How many Argos shops are open?

There are actually 300 Argos concessions inside Sainsbury’s shops and these stay open on a click-and-collect foundation.

“While our Argos stores in Sainsbury’s supermarkets are still open, we’ve temporarily closed our in-store pay points,” stated a press release on the Argos web site.

“You can still arrange to pick up your order in person, but you’ll need to have already paid for it online.”

Argos added: “We would strongly encourage you to order items for home delivery and to only collect whilst doing your essential food shopping at Sainsbury’s.”