John Lewis has announced that they are to close eight stores once lockdown ends placing 1,465 jobs at risk.
This comes eight months after the department store closed eight stores with the loss of 1,300 jobs. The shops which will close are four “At Home” stores in Tunbridge Wells, Basingstoke, Ashford, Chester along with four stores in Aberdeen, Peterborough, York and Sheffield.
From 12 April, subject to government guidance, the remaining 34 stores will reopen and the John Lewis Partnership (JLP) are to transfer their Waitrose operations and distribution centre in Lancashire to XPO Logistics along with all 436 staff.
Sharon White, Chairman of the John Lewis Partnership said, “Today’s announcement is incredibly sad news for our affected Partners, for our customers and for the communities we’ve served over many years.
“The high street is going through its biggest change for a generation and we are changing with it. Customers will still be able to get the trusted service that we are known for – however and wherever they want to shop.”.
Pippa Wicks, Executive Director for John Lewis said, “Closing stores is the toughest thing we do as a Partnership because we all own our business.
“If the closures are confirmed, every effort will be made to find new roles for Partners and for us to continue to serve our customers by providing access to John Lewis in different ways.
“Alongside a growing online business and the expansion of next day Click & Collect, we will invest in our in-store services and experiences, as well as new, smaller neighbourhood formats and the introduction of John Lewis ranges in more Waitrose shops.”