The last three months have been a tough time for high-street shops. However, while many stores are now welcoming customers back, John Lewis has announced that eight of its stores will not be reopening.
Last week The Standard revealed that not all John Lewis & Partner branches would reopen after the lockdown. Today the high street giant revealed which John Lewis stores are closing.
Which John Lewis stores are closing?
In a statement, John Lewis said it would not be reopening shops in Birmingham, Croydon, Heathrow, Newbury, St Pancras, Swindon, Tamworth and Watford.
‘Prior to COVID-19, some of our shops were already financially challenged, despite the drive and determination of our Partners,’ said the statement. ‘The pandemic has accelerated the shift from shopping in-store to online, and in order to navigate these changes we are having to make some difficult decisions.’
The list of closure includes two ‘full service’ department stores. The Harlequin Shopping Centre branch in Watford, which has been in operation for 30 years. Along with the 136,000 sq ft outlet in the Birmingham Bull ring shopping mall that opened in 2015.
The John Lewis stores in Croydon, Swindon, Tamworth and Newbury are all smaller ‘At Home’ branches. Heathrow Airport and St Pancras Station have both lost their small ‘gift-based’ John Lewis outlets.
The closures have placed 1,300 jobs at risk. However, in the statement, John Lewis & Partners said it would do everything it could to find new roles for its partners.
‘If redundancies are confirmed, every effort would be made to find new roles where possible for Partners who wish to remain within the Partnership,’ it said. ‘Opportunities could include transferring to local Waitrose shops or working for johnlewis.com and waitrose.com as they continue to grow.’
In a post on Instagram, the brand wrote, ‘We know this is difficult news to hear and it is with a heavy heart that we have come to this conclusion. But we hope your journey with us continues.’