Following its closure of 55 U.K. stores to help stem the spread of the coronavirus, Kurt Geiger is launching initiatives for nurses in local hospitals as well as the elderly.
The company is implementing a volunteer initiative for members of its 2,500-strong workforce who are unable to work remotely. In the meantime, all are receiving full pay.
Kurt Geiger has aligned with Age UK, a nationwide charity that helps the elderly and is asking employees to spend some of the time they are not working to volunteer for the group’s new community-focused program. Should a more stringent lockdown be announced in the country, volunteering could also mean maintaining telephone contact with someone who is isolated or vulnerable.
“It’s clear that community life and extra acts of kindness will help build invaluable support in this unprecedented time, particularly for the vulnerable and isolated. We will be actively helping our teams play their part in supporting those most in need within their local areas”, said Kurt Geiger CEO Neil Clifford.
The executive has pledged to donate 55 gift cards of 100 pounds ($116 dollars) to every hospital in cities across the U.K. and Ireland where it has stores. Furthermore, all NHS (British National Health Service) employees will receive a 50% discount for a full year in any Kurt Geiger store once they reopen.
“My niece is a specialty nurse on the front line in Portsmouth, my hometown,” Clifford told FN. He asked her what the brand could do to bring some joy and light relief to her and her colleagues — and she said they would just love a free pair of shoes. “So that’s what we’re giving them,” he said. ” It might sound trivial, but we’ve got two million pairs of shoes in our warehouses, so I thought it made perfect sense.”
Clifford himself will be suspending his own salary until stores are able to reopen again as part of a wider plan to reduce costs to support the business. “If the stores don’t reopen, I don’t have a job anymore anyway,” he said. “I’ve earned a lot in my career, so I can afford to do this.”
Clifford hopes to inspire his customers to do the same, and the business will gift a pair of shoes daily to those demonstrating kindness in their own community. This will be executed via its Instagram account using the hashtag #smallactsofkindness.
“The rainbow has long since been an important motif for our brand and provides us with powerful and important messages of hope and new beginnings,” added Clifford. “With these small gestures, we endeavor to bring a little rainbow in these dark days to as many people as we can while our stores are closed.”
Elizabeth Hurley and Jourdan Dunn, the faces of the Kurt Geiger Spring Summer 2020 campaign, have also lent their voices to the initiative.
“Along with the rest of the country, I wholeheartedly admire and support the amazing work the National Health Service is doing at this critical time for our country. I am delighted that Kurt Geiger is playing their part in showing support for the NHS,” said Hurley. “Now is a time for us all to play a part in our communities, and Kurt Geiger’s initiative to encourage all of their workforce to support their communities and work with the elderly is an example I hope we will all follow.”