The Prime Minister made a delayed address to the nation yesterday evening in which he ordered Britons to stay home to help combat the deadly coronavirus. Mr Johnson ordered all shops selling “non-essential goods” to close, as well as other premises including libraries, playgrounds, outdoor gyms and places of worship.
Mr Johnson said that “the time has now come for us all to do more” as he mapped out the new plans in a desperate bid to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
However, it seems Sports Direct considers themselves to be a seller of essential goods after the Prime Minister Boris Johnson advised people they could leave home for one form of exercise a day such as running or cycling.
An email was sent to employees just 16 minutes after Boris Johnson began his televised speech.
The sportswear and equipment company put out a statement to staff declaring all stores will remain open.
The statement told staff Sports Direct are “uniquely well-placed to help keep the UK as fit and healthy as possible”.
The email was sent out by Frasers Group, which owns Evans Cycles and Sports Directs.
Both stores plan on keeping all their combined 491 UK stores open.
Frasers Group is owned by billionaire Mike Ashley who is said to be worth a whopping £1,977 billion according to the Sunday Times Rich List.
“Now received this email after Prime Minister has just said all inessential shops must close?! Surely this can’t be right?! #sportsdirect”
Another staff member has hit back with multiple employees branding the move “absolutely disgusting.”
They told The Sun: “I think it’s absolutely disgusting at a time when the Nation is facing the biggest crisis in modern history that Sports Direct are willing to risk the health and well-being of their employees and the general public to commercially exploit the retail market.
“They are not an essential retailer by any stretch of the imagination and they should put people before pounds.”
The news has sparked outrage across social media as users slammed retail mogul Mike Ashley.
One user commented: “So Sports Direct are staying open because they’re a ‘vital store’ and Part timers aren’t getting any hours and because it’s not closed the staff can’t apply for a grant, Mike Ashley has truly outdone himself.”
Another tweeted: “@SportsDirectUK absolutely disgusting they are still forcing their workers to still go into work! What excuse have you got to stay open?!?!
“People don’t need to buy trainers and exercises clothes at this time!! #LockdownNow #StayAtHomeSaveLives #SportsDirect”
Boris Johnson placed the UK into lockdown for three weeks in a desperate attempt to fight the accelerating coronavirus outbreak.
He outlined just four valid reasons for Britons to leave the house, saying: “From this evening I must give the British people a very simple instruction – you must stay at home. Because the critical thing we must do is stop the disease spreading between households.”
He added: “That is why people will only be allowed to leave their home for the following very limited purposes: Shopping for basic necessities, as infrequently as possible one form of exercise a day – for example a run, walk, or cycle – alone or with members of your household; any medical need, to provide care or to help a vulnerable person; and travelling to and from work, but only where this is absolutely necessary and cannot be done from home.
“These are the only reasons you should leave your home.”
Express.co.uk has contacted Sports Direct for a comment.
Published at Tue, 24 Mar 2020 04:35:00 +0000