Welsh Government Publish Limited Guidance on Non-Essential Products Ban

The Welsh Government have now confirmed guidance for retailers on the types of products that can and cannot be sold, just a few hours ahead of the introduction of the firebreak lockdown restrictions at 6pm today.

The Welsh Government states that the products and services which can be sold in stores are any products which would normally be sold in:

  • Food and drink retailers (including off licenses)
  • Newsagents
  • Building supplies and hardware stores
  • Pharmacies and chemists
  • Bicycle shops
  • Petrol stations
  • Garages and vehicle hire businesses
  • Post offices, banks, building societies and similar
  • Pet shops
  • Agricultural and aquacultural supplies shops; and
  • Livestock markets and auctions

The guidance also states the following about different categories of non-essential products: “Businesses which would normally sell a range of products in their stores may only sell those items which fall into the categories above. This is likely to mean some areas of stores should be closed to customer access. However certain items that may be considered to be “homeware” [for example] are often sold among other products in supermarkets. As these products are generally considered to be “supplies for the essential upkeep, maintenance and functioning of the household” – in other words basic necessities such as batteries, light bulbs and rubber gloves that would often be sold in other types of shop that are allowed to remain open such as petrol stations and newsagents – they may continue to be sold.”

According to the guidance, click and collect services may continue but should be limited to the types of products that are considered by a business to be essential wherever possible, and there is no restriction on the continuation of delivery services.

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “The Welsh Government has given retailers just a few hours to comply with the regulations and associated guidance, which still put a lot of the responsibility on the retailer to determine whether a product range is non-essential. We remain concerned about the justification for these measures and the lack of information given to businesses, but will help retailers to communicate the new rules to customers wherever possible.”

Yesterday (October 22nd), ACS and the Welsh Retail Consortium wrote to the First Minister urging the Welsh Government to reconsider the ban on non-essential products due to it causing significant disruption in stores and confusion among retailers.

ACS has made a simple poster available for retailers, explaining to customers that some product lines may not be available during the firebreak lockdown. The poster is available here: https://www.acs.org.uk/sites/default/files/welsh_products_notice.pdf

The guidance is set to be published shortly here: https://gov.wales/publications?field_policy_areas%5B980%5D=980

This entry was posted by Chris on Fri, 23/10/2020 - 15:04