Search

Backlash over retailer Sports Direct as boss asks Boris: ‘Should we close?’

PUBLISHED: 09:21 24 March 2020 | UPDATED: 09:21 24 March 2020

Sports Direct in Norwich. Pic: Archant

Sports Direct in Norwich. Pic: Archant

Archant

A row has broken out over whether Sports Direct and Evans Cycles should close over coronavirus after the retailer made a plea to the prime minister.

The government stated all “non-essential” shops should close as the fight against coronavirus is stepped up.

Until now, the stores, with branches across Norfolk, owned by businessman Mike Ashley’s Fraser Group, have stayed open. Today its chief finance officer posted a letter to the prime minister asking if they should close.

MORE: Restaurant stops takeaway and delivery service because of coronavirus

Evans Cycles in Norwich. Pic: Evans CyclesEvans Cycles in Norwich. Pic: Evans Cycles

The letter by Chris Wootton attracted widespread criticism on Twitter. He stated: “As the government rightly recognises in its guidance on social distancing, looking after physical and mental wellbeing during the unprecedented period of social isolation will be extremely important. We would like confirmation as to whether our Sports Direct and Evans Cycles fascias should open?”

Michael Gove, cabinet office minister, said in a TV interview he could see “no justification” for the stores staying open.

Meanwhile people voiced their disgust that Mr Ashley did not seem to be heeding government advice.

One tweeted: “I can’t see any justification for Sports Direct staying open.” Another: “Sports Direct is not essential.”

Sports Direct has two stores in Norwich and one in Yarmouth. Evans Cycles is also in Norwich.

For updates on coronavirus in Norfolk see the Facebook page here

You may also want to watch:

If you value what this gives you, please consider supporting our work. Click the link in the yellow box below for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years, through good times and bad. Coronavirus is one of the greatest challenges our community has ever faced, but if we all play our part we will defeat it. We're here to serve as your advocate and trusted source of local information.

In these testing times, your support is more important than ever. Thank you.

Most Read

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the Evening News
digital edition

Subscribe

Most Read

Latest from the Norwich Evening News