John Lewis shuts eight stores putting 1,465 jobs at risk

John Lewis confirms eight more stores will not reopen after lockdown ends – putting 1,465 jobs at risk. Is YOUR local branch on the list?

  • John Lewis puts nearly 1,500 jobs at risk as it prepares to shut eight of its stores
  • Retailer is closing shops in Kent, Yorkshire, Aberdeen, Cheshire and Hampshire
  • Another store in Northamptonshire will also close, while 34 will remain open 

John Lewis has announced it will shut eight stores across the country, putting 1,465 jobs at risk. 

The retail giant has announced it plans to close shops in Kent, Yorkshire, Aberdeen, Cheshire, Hampshire and Northamptonshire.

It has confirmed its remaining 34 shops will reopen on April 12, except for Glasgow’s, which will reopen on April 26 and Edinburgh’s on May 14, subject to Government guidance in England and Scotland.

In January the group recorded its first loss in its 157-year history. 

Among eight sites to close are four John Lewis at Home stores, including one in Basingstoke

The eight shops identified for closure include four ‘At Home’ shops in Ashford, Basingstoke, Chester and Tunbridge Wells and four department stores in Aberdeen, Peterborough, Sheffield and York. 

John Lewis Partnership said on Wednesday that it will also transfer the operations of its Waitrose distribution centre in Leyland, Lancashire, to XPO Logistics.

It said 436 Waitrose staff at the site will be transferred to XPO.

John Lewis has been buoyed by soaring online sales in recent months but these were not sufficient to offset its decline in store sales as it tumbled to a £517 million pre-tax loss for the year to January. 

Ashford’s John Lewis at Home store, found just off the M20, will also close, as the retailer looks to shift its focus to online sails 

John Lewis’ store in Aberdeen will close, but the retail giant today confirmed shops in Glasgow and Edinburgh would reopen in April and May, in line with Government guidelines

John Lewis at Home in Chester will also close. Earlier this month the company told its partners they would not receive an annual bonus for the first time in 68 years 

Earlier this month, the John Lewis Partnership confirmed it would shut more sites and said its partners would not receive an annual bonus for the first time in 68 years.

A Johns Lewis spokesman said: ‘We will enter into consultation with the 1,465 affected Partners about our proposals. Should we proceed, we will make every effort to find alternative roles in the Partnership for as many Partners as possible.

‘At the Partnership’s full year results earlier this month, we said that we will reshape our business in response to how our customers increasingly want to shop in-store and online.

‘This follows substantial research to identify and cater for new customer shopping habits in different parts of the country. 

‘As part of this, 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. 

In January the group recorded its first loss in its 157-year history. John Lewis in Sheffield is another of today’s casualties

The company plans to close bigger stores in order to ‘invest significantly to improve our remaining ones’. The improvements will cost eight stores, including the ‘at home’ range in Tunbridge Wells 

Peterborough’s John Lewis store will not reopen when non-essential retail is allowed to return next month

John Lewis in York, pictured, is one of two Yorkshire outlets that have been cut as part of today’s announcement

‘We expect 60% to 70% of John Lewis sales to be made online in the future. Nearly 50% of our customers now use a combination of both store and online when making a purchase.’

The group said it was moving its focus to cater to ‘convenient’ shopping, adding: ‘Having fewer bigger stores allows us to invest significantly to improve our remaining ones, showcasing our inspiring products with more space dedicated to experiences and services. 

‘They will be enticing and exciting places to shop, more reflective of the tastes and interests of local customers.

‘Our research tells us that customers want more convenient access to John Lewis so we’re improving the next day Click & Collect service in Waitrose stores and offering more local collection points through third parties. 

‘We’re trialling the introduction of John Lewis shopping areas in our Waitrose stores and by the autumn, Waitrose general merchandise products will be sourced by John Lewis.’ 

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