Boxpark has completely shut all of its sites, with tenants still operating as a delivery service to cease trading.

The pop-up retail and food and drink concept, which has three London locations in Shoreditch, Croydon and Wembley, closed its doors to the public last Friday (20 March), but continued to allow traders to offer delivery.

Tenants were told they would not have to pay rent or service charge throughout the closure period.

Boxpark has now opted to shut down its sites completely, citing the growing risk to staff caused by the Coronavirus pandemic.

Boxpark CEO Roger Wade said: “At Boxpark our number one priority has always been the wellbeing of all our customers, staff members and traders. With this in mind, we have made the difficult decision to completely shut our sites from Friday 27 March until further notice. This also means that delivery will no longer be available.

“As Covid-19 continues to spread, we must carefully consider the health and safety of our traders and employees who have continued to work. We have a responsibility to look out for them and under the current circumstances we believe that it is no longer viable for them to continue coming to work.”

Athenian co-founder Neo Christodoulou told BigHospiality there was a need for some food operations to stay open.

He said: “It’s upsetting that there wasn’t any room for negotiation regarding this.

“So many operators have already closed, so there’s a real need for others like us to remain open to meet the public demand.”

“I understand Boxpark’s concerns, but it’s disappointing that this decision has been taken.”

Last week Wade told MCA demand for takeaway and delivery had been limited, while the health and safety and furlough considerations of offering this service had made him consider halting operations altogether.

He said: “I’m not sure that it’s an essential service that we need to run at the moment.

“We need to think about our staff and whether the risk and reward of doing that is justified so we’re currently re-evaluating it.”