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Angry independent traders are calling for crackdown on large chains


Furious independent traders called for cracks on large chains like Ryman and The Range to sell “nonessential” items during the lockdown while smaller competitors closed.

This came after the Welsh government was outraged in October when ministers banned the sale of items such as clothing, books and DVDs to protect small businesses that were unable to act during their fire lockdown.

Thousands more retailers, alongside pubs and restaurants, were forced to close on Thursday as England was thrown into a four-week lockdown to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

However, some high street shops appear to have evaded the fluctuating restrictions and found reasons to declare essential to following the government's new guidelines.

Ryman Stationers and Carpetright are among the retailers who continued trading this week despite selling a significant amount of "non-essential" goods.

Elsewhere, The Range has stayed open and sells a variety of Christmas items.

Thousands of independent retailers have now urged the government to tighten the big chains that have remained open despite the four-week restrictions.

Angry independent traders called for cracks on big chains like Ryman and The Range to sell "nonessential" items during the lockdown while smaller businesses closed. Pictured: A shopper outside Costco in Watford today

Pictured: the range

Pictured: the range

Pictured: Shoppers carry items such as toys and Christmas wrappers as they leave The Range in Watford today

Pictured: Shoppers wear face masks and visors as they push carts loaded with bottled water and milk from Costco

Pictured: Shoppers wear face masks and visors as they push carts loaded with bottled water and milk from Costco

Andrew Goodacre, executive director of the Bira trade association, told the Guardian that the retailers he represents consider it an "injustice" that some housewares and non-food stores are open while they are closed.

"The government needs to make it clear to these big companies that they cannot open or only sell what they consider essential, not a whole bunch of Christmas trees and lights," he said.

& # 39; Independent, non-essential retailers have accepted the ruling, but what they can't accept is that it doesn't apply to competitors like homeware stores that may be selling a bit of hardware and groceries.

"It seems totally unfair that these retailers can bend the rules at this important trading hour."

Any retailer selling “non-essential” goods has been told to close for a month on Thursday as England's winter lockdown came into effect.

This means that stores selling clothing, housewares, furniture, electronics, and other “non-essential” goods should close alongside vehicle showrooms, tailors, and tobacco and vape shops.

Pictured: the range

Pictured; The range

As they exited The Range in Watford, frantic shoppers were seen loading their cars with Christmas wreaths, festive decorations, and carpets

Pictured: Shoppers exit The Range in Watford today with a cart loaded with several glowing Christmas decorations

Pictured: Shoppers exit The Range in Watford today with a cart loaded with several glowing Christmas decorations

Shops that are open include supermarkets, garden centers, hardware stores, gas stations, post offices, pet stores, and shops selling agricultural products.

Storage rooms, funeral homes, laundromats, dry cleaners, and parking lots are also allowed to remain open.

The guidelines released on Friday confirmed that supermarkets or other “mixed” retailers would not have to block aisles selling products that are considered “non-essential”.

However, those selling these "non-essential" goods in segregated areas were asked to close them to customers until December 2nd.

Despite this guidance, The Range has continued to allow customers to shop on upper floors stocked with Christmas decorations and other "non-essential" merchandise, according to The Guardian.

Shoppers queue outside a Costco supermarket in Watford this morning, waiting to enter the busy store

Shoppers queue outside a Costco supermarket in Watford this morning, waiting to enter the busy store

The guidelines released on Friday confirmed that supermarkets or other "mixed" retailers would not have to block aisles selling products that are considered "non-essential". Pictured: a buyer leaves Costco

The guidelines released on Friday confirmed that supermarkets or other “mixed” retailers would not have to block aisles selling products that are considered “non-essential”. Pictured: a buyer leaves Costco

People filled with toilet paper and bottled water as the four-week lockdown began in England this week

People filled with toilet paper and bottled water as the four-week lockdown began in England this week

A source for a major retailer that competes with The Range described the situation as "the wild west" and added: "Legislation has accelerated and now the government has lost control as some retailers take liberties in a very unfair environment . "

The range, which has 184 stores across the UK, said it was still open because it had "thousands of essential everyday items" in stock in a notice on its website.

The retailer added, "As a value retailer, we know that many of our customers rely on us to provide essential items such as groceries, pet care products, non-prescription drugs, toiletries and cleaning supplies at the low prices they need now." 39;

Ryman Stationary, which has also remained open, insisted on providing "essential services".

The range, which has 184 stores across the UK, said it was still open because it had "thousands of essential everyday items" in stock in a notice on its website

The range, which has 184 stores across the UK, said it was still open because it had "thousands of essential everyday items" in stock in a notice on its website

Carpetright added that it had decided to stay open after reviewing government-made regulations. Pictured: The Range at Watford today

Carpetright added that it had decided to stay open after reviewing government-made regulations. Pictured: The Range at Watford today

The website says, "Ryman provides vital services such as DHL, post offices and Western Union money transfers. Our stores will remain open as usual in November."

Carpetright added that it had decided to stay open after reviewing government-made regulations.

A statement said: "We have a large number of inquiries from customers, trading partners and companies as to whether they can complete their essential projects for their home or business."

Elsewhere, Poundland told MailOnline, “We're open across the country, but this is no different from the previous lockdown.

“This is because well over 70 percent of our sales are groceries and essentials. Equally important, however, we are lifesavers for those who normally walk to the stores, live week after week, and cannot always afford to buy in bulk from supermarkets.

Pictured: Shoppers wear carpet and paint from The Range in Watford for the first weekend of the lockdown in England today

Pictured: Shoppers wear a rug and paint from The Range in Watford for the first weekend of the lockdown in England today

A number of stores are also open to click-and-collect customers, including Pandora, Next, the non-stop party store in Kensington, West London and GAME. Pictured: Costco

A number of stores are also open to click and collect customers, including Pandora, Next, the non-stop party store in Kensington, West London and GAME. Pictured: Costco

“Not only that, we are on the main roads that need the most help.

"It goes without saying that our stores will be stricter than ever when it comes to safety and hygiene so that customers can shop safely."

Robert Dyas and Wilko's stores are among those that have not had to close under the current lockdown restrictions.

Laundromats and dry cleaners are also considered indispensable services and can continue to serve customers – just as they did when they were first blocked.

In addition, health food stores are classified as essential according to new guidelines.

Shops in Holland and Barrett are still open and customers are welcome to browse the shelves for healthy foods, vitamins and dietary supplements.

The alternative health chain has over 750 stores in the UK and is considered a major retailer as its products are suitable for people with special dietary needs.

The chain stayed open even during the initial lockdown as it is considered a grocery retailer.

James Timpson, the chief executive of the Timpson Group, confirmed on social media that his stores would remain open during the second lockdown.

The Timpson chain is made up of cobblers who also offer dry cleaning, phone repairs, key cutting and locksmith services in some of their stores.

Mr Timpson said, "In England virtually all of our stores will remain open under this lockdown as we provide essential services, but sales I suspect will be quite a bit less."

A number of stores are also open to click-and-collect customers, including Pandora, Next, the non-stop party store in Kensington, West London, and GAME, which will be hosting a pick-up service on November 10th and 19th the introduction of new consoles.