John Lewis considering further store closures

John Lewis & Partners

John Lewis is considering further stores closure as the COVID-19 pandemic has forced more of its sales online, it has been reported.

The department store could announce up to eight further store closures or relocations to smaller sites when it reveals its annual results on 11 March, according to The Sunday Times.

John Lewis permanent closed eight of its then 50 stores after the first lockdown in the UK with sites shuttered for good including department stores in Birmingham and Watford will be affected, along with four At Home stores in Croydon, Newbury, Swindon and Tamworth, and travel sites in Heathrow Airport and St Pancras Station.

It is not yet known exactly how many will be closed this time, as this will depend on negotiations with landlords, but the report says larger, older stores are the more vulnerable.

John Lewis has already secured permission to convert up to half of the floorspace of its London Oxford Street store into office space. 

Before the pandemic, John Lewis’s online sales accounted for around 40% of its turnover and the company has said that by 2025 this figure could be as much as 60% or 70%.

The first round of store closures led to 1,300 job cuts and a further 1,500 job cuts are underway at the company’s head office.

John Lewis has not commented on this latest report.

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