Norwich store in jeopardy as John Lewis announces further closures

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John Lewis has announced more stores could be closing. - Credit: Archant

John Lewis has announced it could close more stores as it swung to a £517 million annual loss after the pandemic battered its department stores.

The group, which also owns upmarket grocery chain Waitrose, said it does not expect all its John Lewis shops to reopen at the end of lockdown.

It did not say how many of its 42 John Lewis shops are under threat, confirming it was in talks with landlords and will make a final decision at the end of March.

The Norwich far has thus far avoided closure which saw eight sites close last summer

Previously the chain's bigger, older, regional stores were at risk.

Recent reports suggested another eight stores are earmarked to be shut.

The group also scrapped its staff bonus for the first time since 1953, as previously reported, after the coronavirus crisis sent it plunging to the hefty loss for the year to January 30 against profits of £146 million the previous year.

Chairman Sharon White said: “There is no getting away from the fact that some areas can no longer profitably sustain a John Lewis store.

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“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.

“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.”

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