The retailer closed online last month after the government implemented foreclosure measures. These included forcing all clothing stores to close temporarily.
Many fashion chains have kept their operations online, but Next has been one of those who chose to suspend its website. This was to ensure the safety of its warehouse staff.
The Mirror reports that Next aims to welcome online shoppers again. He says he can do it through “an incredible amount of planning.”
The closure of Next’s warehouses and distribution centers was largely due to staff safety concerns regarding social distancing.
But following consultation with staff, a series of new security measures have been put in place. These include one-way systems and new walkways in its warehouses.
These measures are supported by Usdaw, the retail workers’ union, and ensure that strict social distancing is maintained.
More than 3,000 staff have volunteered to return to work, but not all will start immediately. It is believed that the recovery will take place in stages, starting with only a small range available to buyers.
The retailer will also set limits on the number of items that can be ordered in a day so workers can work safely to fill them. It’s not known exactly when the website will start taking orders again, but that should happen in the next few days.
Buyers are currently still able to browse the Next website, but are warned that they cannot place orders.
The message reads: “We have listened carefully to our colleagues in our warehouses and distribution operations. It is clear that many people are increasingly thinking that they should be at home in today’s climate.
“As a result, we have made the difficult decision to close our warehousing and distribution operations until further notice. “
Unexecuted orders were canceled and customers were refunded.
Earlier this month, Next put three of its warehouses and headquarters in Leicester on sale. It is a desperate attempt to raise funds amid hundreds of temporary store closings.
Next would then lease all of the properties and said the deal would allow them to continue trading.
The company has 16 warehouses across the UK, eight of which are major hubs.
He said that last year, he obtained rent reductions of 30% on average in 44 stores where he renewed his leases and closed nine stores.