A number of UK firms have stated their intention to gradually resume operations in the coming weeks as businesses begin to adapt to the new reality of the pandemic.
On Thursday morning, car manufacturer Aston Martin Lagonda Global Holdings PLC (LON:AML) announced that it will be reopening its St Athan production plant on 5 May, just under six weeks after the carmaker shuttered its factories as the pandemic closed dealerships and disrupted supply chains.
The company also said that its second factory in Gaydon is also scheduled to resume operations shortly afterwards.
Housebuilders to restart
Meanwhile, the UK’s housebuilding sector is also looking to restart, with Taylor Wimpey PLC (LON:TW.) planning to start a staged re-opening of its construction sites from early next month using new social distancing protocols.
The firm shut all of its UK sites on March 24 but said it has devised new working practices that include additional precautionary and risk management measures compliant with government coronavirus guidance such as a range of bespoke protective equipment (PPE) for two-person tasks.
Taylor Wimpey had already seen its sales slip as a result of the site closures, while completions in the 16 weeks to 19 April dropped by 14% to 2,271.
Since the UK implemented a lockdown to prevent the spread of coronavirus, the housebuilder said it has received 80 cancellations and completed 193 private sales, although added that website traffic remained strong, which it said was “an indication of the continued underlying demand”.
B&Q looks to rebuild
Some of Britain’s retailer are also planning to slowly reopen their doors, with DIY specialist B&Q, owned by Kingfisher PLC (LON:KGF), having allowed customers back into 155 of its outlets following a trial last weekend.
The firm has implemented social distancing measures inside its stores to protect customers, while services including kitchen designing, timber cutting and paint mixing remain suspended.
B&Q’s small reemergence has provided a small boost to shares in Kingfisher, which were 3.2% higher at 142.5p in mid-afternoon trading on Thursday.
Meanwhile, Aston Martin’s shares have jumped 5.2% to 50.5p while among the housebuilders Taylor Wimpey has surged 11.3% to 150.4p and Vistry is also up 11.2% at 807.5p.
Published at Thu, 23 Apr 2020 13:15:00 +0000-Aston Martin among firms cautiously reopening in new pandemic reality