By Grace Walsh
High street department store John Lewis has announced a further eight store closures after being badly hit by the Covid-19 pandemic – affecting some 1,465 jobs.
All non-essential shops in England are due to re-open on 12 April, as part of the government's roadmap to exit lockdown. But John Lewis has now revealed plans to close more stores as a result of the pandemic.
The retail giant is understood to have reported a pre-tax loss of £517 million for the year up to January 30, thought to largely be down to various lockdowns and the Covid-19 restrictions put in place over the last 12 months. John Lewis reportedly added at the time that it does not expect all of its shops to reopen when the country exits lockdown.
Sharon White, chairperson of the John Lewis partnership commented on the situation: "There is no getting away from the fact that some areas can no longer profitably sustain a John Lewis store.
"Regrettably, we do not expect to reopen all our John Lewis shops at the end of lockdown, which will also have implications for our supply chain," she added.
"We are currently in discussions with landlords and final decisions are expected by the end of March. We will do everything we can to lessen the impact and will continue to provide community funds to support local areas."
Which John Lewis stores will close?
Metro.co.uk previously reported that a further eight John Lewis stores may face closure, in addition to the eight stores that the retailer announced last July would not reopen. Then on March 24, the company confirmed eight additional stores that would be closing permanently.
The publication claims that the 156-year-old department store scrapped its staff bonus for the first time since 1953, whilst John Lewis announced 1,300 redundancies last year, as well as 1,500 head office job losses, which were confirmed in November.
This is said to be part of a five-year transformation plan to ‘return to sustainable profits’ by 2025.
John Lewis closure list: which John Lewis stores did they announce would close?
John Lewis has confirmed that an additional eight stores will be closing for good, including four department stores and four "At Home" stores. The store locations are as follows.
- Ashford (At Home)
- Basingstoke (At Home)
- Chester (At Home)
- Tunbridge Wells (At Home)
This makes 16 stores in total that will close for good as a result of the pandemic. Last year, the retail giant announced that the following eight John Lewis department stores would not reopen following the Covid-19 lockdown.
- Watford, intu Shopping Centre
- Heathrow Terminal Two
- London St Pancras Train Station
- Birmingham, Bullring Shopping Centre
Which John Lewis stores opened after lockdown before?
However, some John Lewis stores will of course soon be reopening after the lockdown closures, and the company has continued to trade online during the events of the last 12 months. We still might not know exactly which stores will reopen next month, but we do know which stores John Lewis announced would open after last year's lockdown.
These included stores in major shopping hubs like Stratford City and Trafford, as well as the Oxford Street Store, Cardiff, Basingstoke, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Liverpool, Milton Keynes, Newcastle and Norwich.
John Lewis has said that it hopes to "redeploy" some of the staff members affected by store closures.
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