Stockport’s Rowlinson Knitwear is donating over 200,000 free disposable face masks to its customers across the UK, helping to keep independent schoolwear retailers safe during the coronavirus pandemic.
The employee-owned business decided to offer the face masks as a way of thanking its customers for their continued support and loyalty during the recent months of lockdown.
Following recent UK Government guidelines stating that all pupils must return to school this September, the schoolwear industry is now gearing up for the busy Back to School season. Wearing face masks is not mandatory, but some secondary schools have already confirmed they are making it a requirement for pupils. Many retailers face additional business costs as they adapt their shops with equipment and screens to accommodate social distancing in store, while continuing to offer uniform fitting appointments and advice to parents.
Donald Moore, chair of Rowlinson, said: “Right now, feeling safe is very important to everyone. Back to School is a busy time anyway, but this year, schoolwear shops have the additional pressure of adjusting their businesses to offer an extra safe environment for their colleagues, and for parents and pupils. Many have struggled to obtain face masks during the pandemic. Even if they could get them, it’s an additional cost at a time when they most need to manage their overheads. Since the middle of July, we’ve supplied a box of 50 3-ply disposable face masks with every order that has a value of £175 or more as a small gesture to thank all our loyal customers.”
Managing director, Neil Ward, added: “In difficult times, it’s even more important to act responsibly and help others. Distributing free masks is just a small way of demonstrating that we care about our customers, because we know how tough this year will be for them.”