News Dobbies U Turns On Opening After Backlash

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Dobbies U-turns on opening after backlash
25th March 2020

By Neil Pope

THE UK’S biggest garden centre retail group Dobbies - which has extensive pet departments in its stores - has made a U-turn on a decision to stay open despite a government order to shut all ‘non-essential shops’.

Dobbies had announced on its Facebook page that its 69 stores nationwide would remain open, stating: “We have carefully reviewed the guidance provided by Government, which clearly states that food shops, home and hardware shops, and pet shops should continue to operate to provide essential goods. In all of these categories Dobbies already provides a comprehensive range so we have taken the decision to continue to operate our stores to serve our local communities.”

But Dobbies’ stance resulted in an immediate backlash with more than 2,000 comments, criticising the company’s decision, being posted on the Facebook page.

Dobbies to close its stores 24 hours later, issuing the following statement on Facebook: “Following updated guidance from the Government, our shops will temporarily close with immediate effect. The welfare of our customers and team members is and always will remain our number one priority.”