Covid-19: Woodies row back on banning under-16s from stores

Covid-19: Woodies row back on banning under-16s from stores

Update: Hardware retailer Woodies has pulled back on a plan to ban under-16s from its stores when they open again on Monday.

Earlier this afternoon, it said staff were concerned about social distancing with children in the shop.

However, the store has reversed the decision.

It is now saying under-16s can be brought in, if they are accompanied by a parent.

The retailer said in a statement:

“Under-16s are welcome in our stores when accompanied by an adult.

“However, where possible, we would still encourage customers to shop on their own.


“We value all of our customers and do not want anyone to eel excluded and look forward to a day when family groups can again shop together.

“We really appreciate your patience and understanding in these difficult times.”

Earlier: Woodies say under-16s will be banned when stores reopens

Woodies DIY says children under-16 will be banned from their shops when they open up again on Monday.

The store is due to reopen as the country moves into phase one of the Government’s roadmap to reopening society and the economy.

The hardware retailer says staff are worried that social distancing will be harder to achieve if children are let in.

Announcing the news on social media, the chain said: “The safety of our colleagues and customers remains our number one priority.

“For now those under-16 are not permitted in our stores, as our colleagues have expressed concerns that social distancing is much harder to adhere to with children in our stores.

“As always in these uncertain times we are listening to that feedback.

“We value all of our customers and do not want anyone to feel excluded, so would encourage you to contact us via https://woodies.ie/contacts/ and we will arrange a way for you to shop with us.

“We really appreciate your patience and understanding in these difficult times.”

Yesterday, the CEO of Woodies has told of how the company had to compost €150,000 worth of potted plants when their shops closed seven weeks ago.

Declan Ronayne told RTÉ radio’s Ryan Tubridy show that he was both nervous and excited about reopening next Monday and he recognised that shopping is no longer a pastime and it will be difficult for customers.

Woodies has “a steely determination to keep everyone as safe as we can,” he said, recognising people's fears of the coronavirus.

Mr Ronayne said that the recent closure was the longest Woodies had ever been closed.

“Customers need to be conscious of the fact that our 1,400 people haven't been working for seven weeks and they're a little bit nervous about this new world when we come back," he said.

“Even before we closed, obviously we had queues outside the stores, we were only letting a limited number of people in.

"I managed one or two of those queues - in our Bray store and our Cork store, just to talk to customers and what came up again and again was the guys on their own or couples just saying 'thanks be to God, you're open because I'd be going off my head' and I said to people in our own business - we're not in the DIY or gardening business, we're in the mental health business because people want to do stuff, to keep busy, keep the head together while we all just work together to get through this.”

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