Don’t make shop staff police the wearing of face masks, says Waterstones chief

Shop workers’ union Usdaw has urged the Government to clarify its policy on face coverings in shops.

“It should never fall on shop workers to enforce the wearing of face coverings – they are already dealing with more abuse than normal and this could be another flashpoint,” said Paddy Lillis, the Usdaw general secretary.

Separately, new figures sales figures showed that shoppers are buying “comfort purchases” but still not leaving their homes.

Data from trade body the British Retail Consortium (BRC) and KPMG showed that retailer sales increased in June for the first time since the lockdown began. The tracker revealed an increase in sales of 3.4 per cent compared to last year after a decline of 5.9 per cent the previous month.

Non-essential stores were allowed to reopen in mid-June, contributing to the spike, but the BRC warned that some businesses would still face significant challenges going forward.

Chief executive Helen Dickinson said that while computing, furniture and home improvement items sold well, things like clothes had still not flown off the shelves.

Kyle Monk, the head of retail insight at the BRC, added: “Sales in June were driven by online purchases, with consumers still choosing to remain in the safety of their homes rather than venturing out.

“With consumers opting for furniture and other items to make that Saturday night in more comfortable, all eyes are on how high streets perform now that pubs, restaurants and cafes have reopened, in the hope it brings a much-needed boost to consumer demand.”

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