24th March 2020
In the light of the Prime Minister's broadcast last night the UK is stepping up its response to the coronavirus crisis.
Whilst we are fully operational we appreciate that not everyone is as fortunate. We also appreciate that many of you are seeking greater clarity following the latest announcements.
With that in mind, we are signposting sources of the latest government information and advice, including help and support available for businesses. We're also answering some of the most frequently-asked questions below.
Update 24th March 17:15
Added; Guidance for schools (includes a definition of key workers that includes ‘information technology and data infrastructure sector’ and telecommunications) in Government Advice section.
Added; Based on the above, additional comments in FAQs under “Are I.T. retailers allowed to remain open?”
Government Advice and Support Available
The following websites provide latest information from the UK government;
Advice on business closures – includes contact details for enquiries;
Update- Guidance for schools (includes definition of key workers including IT);
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Are Target open for business?
A: Yes, we are fully operational. Our Covid-19 response – including home-working wherever possible – had already kicked in over a week ago.
Q: Will Target be allowed to remain open for business?
A: We believe we will be able to remain operational throughout the crisis. If we go into further lockdown, e.g. closure of all 'non-essential' businesses, we believe we have a strong case to make that the role we play in distributing I.T. hardware is essential to home-working and home-learning, maintaining infrastructure and enabling the country to continue to function.
Q: Are I.T. retailers allowed to remain open?
A: We are still seeking clarity and we have lodged that specific question with the government. There is a very strong case that all suppliers of I.T. products and support services play an essential role in facilitating home-working and home-learning and in supporting both individuals and businesses through this challenging period. If and when we receive clarity from the government we will share it with you.
Update 24th March 17:15
Still no response to our question, but note the newly added links above to guidance for schools. The definition of critical sectors includes “information technology and data infrastructure sector” and “telecommunications (including but not limited to network operations, field engineering, call centre staff, IT and data infrastructure, 999 and 111 critical services)”. Strongly suggests that I.T. suppliers, including retailers, should be classed as critical and allowed to remain open.
Q: Will Target be able to remain operational?
We'd broadly categorise risk into three groups; business, regulation and health.
Business-risk; after the initial production shock, we're seeing the supply chain recover well. We're seeing unprecedented levels of demand at the moment, and whilst we don't expect it to continue at these levels, we expect demand to be reasonably healthy for a prolonged spell as we're all supporting home-working and home-learning that is essential in this period. We're also in the fortunate position of having a very strong balance sheet plus of course access to loans and other government support if necessary. We don't anticipate any business threat that would cause us not to remain operational.
Regulation; see 'Will Target be allowed to remain open for business' above.
Health; Our biggest risk is an outbreak of the virus whereby all of our warehouse team are affected at the same time. We are taking every possible precaution to minimise risk of infection and plans in place to mitigate the impact. We cannot 100% guarantee that it won't happen, but even in the most extreme worst-case scenario, we would be unable to receive or ship orders for two weeks.
We appreciate these are challenging times and the situation is changing daily. We're here to support you to the best of our ability throughout this crisis and beyond.
If you have further questions please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org