Evans Cycles has announced it will open nine more stores during the coronavirus lockdown.
High street chain Evans had opened just 11 of its stores across the UK following a controversy in March, despite being allowed to operate as normal as “essential retailers”.
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While bike shops have been allowed to remain open during the UK’s coronavirus lockdown, Evans Cycles closed all of its stores after heavy criticism aimed at its parent company Frasers Group.
Frasers Group, run by billionaire Mike Ashley, had originally decided to keep its chain of Sports Direct shops open after non-essential businesses were ordered to close by the government, claiming that selling sporting and fitness was essential for Britons forced to stay at home.
The group, which also owns House of Frasers, backtracked after public pressure and closed all of its stores including its 52 Evans Cycles outlets.
Then in late March, Evans confirmed it would reopen 11 of its stores in built-up areas, including Manchester, Bristol and three London stores.
On Wednesday (April 21), Evans announced nine further stores would be opening, with the number of customers at any one time limited and two-metre zones to adhere to social distancing measures.
An Evans spokesperson said: “In close consultation with colleagues, and following positive feedback from customers, we have seen there is a demand to offer essential maintenance work that will allow the country’s key workers to keep moving safely.
“With this in mind we are pleased to be able to expand the locations in which we have workshops open to the public.
“We would like to reiterate that maintaining the wellbeing of our store colleagues, who have each volunteered to return to work, and customers is essential. As such, stores will follow stringent measures on social distancing and cleanliness and we urge all customers to follow the government’s guidance and only travel to our stores where necessary.”
Customers are urged to shop online and use home delivery where possible, but four stores will also function as collection points by appointment only for purchases that cannot be delivered.
Evans has also been offering free bike MOTs to key workers and will be offering this service in the nine stores now opening.
Full list of Evans stores currently open:
Collection stores (by appointment only):