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John Lewis announces all stores to temporarily close from Monday

PUBLISHED: 16:15 21 March 2020 | UPDATED: 10:52 22 March 2020

John Lewis in Norwich will be closed from Monday. Pic: Archant

John Lewis in Norwich will be closed from Monday. Pic: Archant

Archant

John Lewis has announced it is temporarily closing all of its stores from Monday.

The department store chain has said it had made the “difficult decision” to close all of its 50 stores - including Norwich - due to the coronavirus.

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Chairman Sharon White, said: “The welfare of our customers, communities and partners is always our absolute priority. While it is with a heavy heart that we temporarily close our John Lewis shops, our partners will, where possible, be taking on important roles in supporting their fellow partners, providing critical services in Waitrose shops and ensuring our customers can get what they need through johnlewis.com, which is seeing extremely strong demand.

“The partnership has traded for over 155 years, during which time we have faced many difficult periods, including two world wars and the 2008 financial crisis. On every occasion, thanks to our customers and partners, and the long standing relationships with our suppliers and stakeholders, we have emerged stronger. We all need to continue to support each other and our strength and resilience will be tested. But they will not be broken.

“I also want to give my personal thanks to every single partner for their extraordinary efforts, I am truly grateful. And to the wider community for pulling together with us during such unprecedented times.”

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All Waitrose shops will remain open as will waitrose.com

The statement from John Lewis added: “Over 2,000 John Lewis partners are already working in Waitrose shops to assist with the unprecedented demand for grocery and other essential goods and wherever possible, John Lewis partners will be redeployed to provide additional support to Waitrose and johnlewis.com for our non-food online business.”

It added: “We are seeing a surging demand in Waitrose and online but like other businesses our shop footfall in John Lewis has fallen and this extraordinary volatility makes predicting full year cash flow and profits difficult. Although there has been a rising demand in food so far, it may peak further, as people are asked to stay at home.”


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