Ableworld store in Kinson image

Mike Williams, Managing Director of Ableworld, has approached the Welsh government for clarification regarding if mobility retailers are deemed ‘essential retail’ and says he will share any feedback with the industry.

Set to come into force this Friday, the firebreak will be a temporary, national lockdown taking place in Wales until Monday 9 November.

As part of the lockdown, many businesses, including retailers classed as ‘non-essential’, will be legally required to close their doors until the end of the lockdown.

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With a full list of companies that will be allowed to remain open as ‘essential’ expected soon from the Welsh government, the announcement has left many retailers in the mobility industry unsure whether they will be allowed to remain open or not.

On 20 October, South Wales retailer Snowdrop Independent Living pledged to remain available to support customers during the firebreak, emphasising the important role it plays in supporting vulnerable people.

Now, Ableworld’s boss Mike Williams has sought clarification from the Welsh government which he says Ableworld will share with the rest of the industry in an act of solidarity.

“We are keen to work with the Government to protect our customers and staff from this pandemic. We provide customers with equipment to help keep them independent which we would class as essential,” he stated.

“Following the original announcement back in March, we did receive confirmation from Matt Hancock that we could continue to open our shops and provide engineering support as we are providing equipment and services to help customers, charities and the NHS. However, we are not certain what the Welsh Government class as essential retailers.”

Noting that the latest news provides no clarification for mobility retailers, Mike has confirmed that the company has already approached the Welsh government for clarification so the company can reassure its customers.

“Providing supplies such as continence care, mobility aids and stairlifts, we feel we should be available if our customers need us as we were throughout the first lockdown,” he continued.

“But, ultimately, it’s about the country coming together when needed to tackle the pandemic and we will do whatever it takes to get it under control.

“The feedback we received during the first lockdown from customers, occupational therapists and healthcare professionals reassures us that customers were happy we could continue to offer support and guidance to help them remain independent.

Emphasising the need for players in the industry to support each other, Mike finished: “If we receive confirmation clarification on the position for the mobility industry, we will ensure we share the update with all retailers, as now more than ever we need to work together to support vulnerable people in the UK.”

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