John Lewis to close some stores permanently following lockdown
PUBLISHED: 13:55 29 April 2020 | UPDATED: 08:56 30 April 2020
Management at John Lewis are reportedly in discussions over which of its shops should reopen after lockdown.
Sources close to the department store chain have said it is “highly unlikely” that all 50 John Lewis sites will reopen when lockdown is lifted.
The reports could spell uncertainty for Norwich, as the city centre has a large John Lewis outlet in All Saints Green.
The news comes as the retailer reported a 17% fall in year-on-year sales in March, with a surge in online orders unable to offset the loss of store sales.
Management also revealed last week that it was planning for a “worst case scenario” of sales falling by up to 35%.
Top brass at the company have already agreed to a 20% pay cut for the next three months.
Dame Sharon White, chairman of the John Lewis Partnership (JLP), warned in February that stores are unlikely to remain open without financial improvements.
She has since added that the company is facing the most challenging period in its history.
JLP said in a statement: “We keep our estate under continuous review in order to ensure we have the right amounts of shops to best serve our customers and remain commercially viable.
“It is too early to make a decision but, as always, any decision that is made is done with securing the long-term financial sustainability of the Partnership and is always communicated to our Partners first.
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