LOCAL residents have called into question whether shops like the Range should still be open during the pandemic as they sell many items that are not classed as “essential.”

Art teacher, Andrew Clacher said he feels disappointed that people are venturing out to buy gardening items from the store in St John's.

The 55-year-old said: “I needed some milk and a roll of masking tape for my online teaching classes.

“When arriving at the Range in Worcester, I was shocked to see the car park almost full and a long queue with many elderly people lined up. It had the feeling of a bank holiday Monday!

“As I walked closer - it seemed that most of the trolleys leaving, were full of garden products - plants, bags of compost and spades. What a pity that some have ignored the heartfelt advice from the Queen for self discipline.

“I have a vulnerable adult at home and did not want to take the risk of lining up or entering the shop whilst it was so busy - I feel disappointed that there are a few people who do not realise there actions are affecting the whole country’s fight against the Coronavirus.

“I feel the Range should only be selling what the government considers to be essential products. This would help to prevent unnecessary trips out.”

Another resident that lives near The Range said: “We have noticed the high volumes of people shopping at this store, The Range seems to have increased in their sales. As there is an Iceland within this store we decided to pick up some essentials from this store, we noticed most members of the community in this store were buying non-essentials, and very little social distancing being followed."

“The workers seemed to be doing their best but don’t seem to be able to keep up with the demand with customers, and this seemed to affect the cleanliness of the store. When we entered there was a little roll of kitchen roll, and a liquid in a bottle to squirt with no label on, that the customers needed to use themselves, which does not seem to be hygienic enough in these times.

“There also seemed to be no clear directions for the staff as some were wearing gloves and masks, and some weren’t. As we entered we were told from the workers that we were allowed to purchase non essential items, as long as we purchased one essential item."

Nobody from The Range was available for comment when the Worcester News went to print.