LUSH has said its shops should be allowed to open during the coming four-week lockdown.

Mark Constantine, chief executive of the Poole-based cosmetics business, said the shops would be offering a “form of click and collect” while putting 1,600 staff on furlough.

Mr Constantine told BBC Radio Four’s Today programme: “It’s not essential for us to stay open, although in December it might be.

“Soap is a little bit more essential than trainers, so that’s all it is. We’re not banging a drum, we’re just asking.

“We’ve asked various MPs and we’re part of Make UK because we’re manufacturers in the UK and they’re kindly looking into it for us. But you don’t know who to ask.”

In the Lush's annual report earlier this year, Mr Constantine warned of “jobageddon” under another widespread lockdown, adding that “we can now see the price of the lockdown for society and it would be a brave government that tried to close the economy again”.

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Mr Costantine told the BBC: “Our main focus is to support and help wherever we can. We offer the ability for people to wash their hands in the high street if they want to and that’s our real focus. But people would like to come, people would like to be able to pick up stuff and we’d like to be able to supply them.”

He said stores would offer a “form of click and collect” during lockdown “so we will have our managers and one other member of staff there while we furlough another 1,600 people”.