Coronavirus: John Lewis to cut 1,300 jobs when eight stores close | Economic news

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Department store chain John Lewis said eight of its stores would not reopen after the closure, putting 1,300 jobs at risk.

The employee-owned company said the closings come after the coronavirus pandemic has accelerated the shift from in-store to online purchases.

The stores to be closed are: two department stores in Birmingham and Watford; four At Home stores in Croydon, Newbury, Swindon and Tamworth; and two travel centers at Heathrow and St Pancras.

Sharon White, President of the John Lewis Partnership, said: “Closing a store is always incredibly difficult and today’s announcement will be very sad news for customers and partners.

“However, we believe that closures are necessary to help us ensure the sustainability of the Partnership – and continue to meet the needs of our customers, no matter where they want to shop.”

“Layoffs are always an absolute last resort and we will do our best to keep as many partners as possible within our company. “

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