Is your local John Lewis closing? Eight more stores scrapped with almost 1,500 jobs at risk

Business

The John Lewis Partnership has revealed plans to close a further eight stores, leaving 1,465 jobs under threat.

The company, which includes the Waitrose supermarket brand, had warned earlier this month while revealing annual losses of £517m that it did not expect to reopen all its John Lewis sites when COVID-19 restrictions are due to end in April.

It cut 1,300 jobs last year through eight other store closures.

The latest decision, which followed extensive talks with landlords, leaves just 34 John Lewis stores.

Those to stay closed are four “At Home” sites in Ashford, Basingstoke, Chester and Tunbridge Wells, and four department stores in Aberdeen, Peterborough, Sheffield and York.

John Lewis said it hoped to redeploy some of the partners affected and said it hoped of offset some of the lost store business through a bolstered online proposition and an expanded click and collect service.

The latter measure would include its Waitrose operation and trials of in-store “John Lewis shopping areas” within its supermarkets.

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The partnership’s statement said: “We can unfortunately no longer profitably sustain a large John Lewis store in some locations where we do not have enough customers, which is resulting in the proposed closures.

“The eight shops were financially challenged prior to the pandemic.

“Given the significant shift to online shopping in recent years – and our belief that this trend will not materially reverse – we do not think the performance of these eight stores can be substantially improved.”

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