COVID-19 Customer Update: 4th November 2020

With events relating COVID-19 continuously changing, we are continuing to monitor the global developments regarding the outbreak and taking necessary steps in line with the World Health Organisation and government guidance in each of the countries in which we operate.

We have three clear objectives:

1. To protect the health and well-being of our employees, customers, suppliers and communities;

2. To protect the delivery of services to our customers;

3. To support our customers to adapt to the changing circumstances.

We have a robust, resilient and flexible global infrastructure and we are continually reviewing our existing Business Continuity Plans to take account of the developing circumstances. Here’s a summary of the actions that we’ve taken:

Major incident management

  • Since the outbreak of Covid-19 in January, the Group’s Crisis Management team have met on a regular basis to monitor and manage our response to the changing situation. This team is made up of our senior executives and other subject matter experts.

Protection of our locations

  • We are minimising external visits to our sites. We ask our customers and suppliers to support us in this action.
  • Regarding our Distribution Centres, we have a global distribution network - with distribution centres in the UK, Ireland, France, Spain, Germany, Italy, South Africa, North America, Australia, Hong Kong, China and Japan – this means we are able to flex our supply chain. We are taking all practical steps to maintain normal operations.

Maintaining our service

  • With a robust, resilient and flexible global infrastructure we are in a strong position to be able to adapt quickly to ensure we can protect our service to our customers.
  • We have a significant amount of stock across our network and our distribution capabilities mean that we can reroute deliveries should that be needed
  • Since March, most of our office based employees have worked from home. This has meant we have been able to continue to provide the ongoing high level of service our customers expect.

Our entire network of RS Locals will remain open. However, to maintain the safety of both our people and our customers during UK lockdown or Tier restrictions, we will be operating a click and collect service only. Preventing the spread of infection

  • We have clear procedures in place should any of our colleagues have contact with someone who is confirmed with COVID-19 or is presenting with symptoms.
  • We have stringent safety measures in place designed to minimise any risk to our colleagues in the DCs while they continue to undertake their critical role to keep our shelves stocked and customer orders fulfilled.

Travel and remote working

  • We have stopped all international business travel unless there is an absolute business critical need. In this event, any international travel would need to be approved by a member of our Senior Executive team.
  • Furthermore, unless there is a specific customer request or business need, we have stopped all domestic business travel and asking our colleagues to use technology in the first instance.
  • We have stopped non-essential internal meetings requiring people to travel.
  • We continue to make decisions regarding homeworking consistent with government advice in each country and location.