Debenhams and Ann Summers have both announced they are carrying out temporary stores closures as a result of the COVID-19 Coronavirus outbreak.
The department store chain said its stores in the UK and republic of Ireland would be closed from the end of business today until further notice.
“Throughout these very difficult times, the safety and wellbeing of our colleagues and customers has been of paramount importance. Our store colleagues have continued to demonstrate the highest professionalism and commitment and we will be working with them to support them through this process,” the company said in a statement.
Debenhams is currently operating under a CVA, having been bought out of administration by a consortium of its investors last year. The business closed 19 stores permanently in January and is due to carry out more permanent store closures during 2021. During the temporary shut down it will continue to trade online.
Ann Summers, the lingerie chain, has also joined the long list of retailers to shut up shop ahead of what an expected mandatory shut-down of all non-essential retail by the Government as it seeks to halt the spread of the potentially deadly virus.
Ann Summers has also said it will continue to trade online and staff will be paid in full at least until the end of April.
Many major chains have already taken the decision close including H&M, Gap, Inditex, Gap, River Island, John Lewis, Selfridges, New Look, Kurt Geiger and more. Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to move to shut down all non-essential retail and impose stricter lock-down measures, following worrying scenes of members of the public congregating in large groups on beaches and in parks over the weekend.
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