This announcement comes at a time when the latest wave of store reopenings has been confirmed.
The stores being considered for closure include two of the smallest in the industry – travel centers in Heathrow and St Pancras, four At Home stores in Croydon, Newbury, Swindon and Tamworth and two department stores in Birmingham and Watford.
Around 1,300 workers in the eight stores are now consulting.
Before the pandemic, the eight stores identified were already facing financial difficulties and the pandemic accelerated the transition from in-store purchases to those online.
Before the virus hit, 40% of John Lewis’ sales were online.
This could now approach 60 to 70% of total sales this year and next year.
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.
“There are many reasons to be optimistic about the future of the Partnership. Waitrose and John Lewis are two of the UK’s most popular and trusted brands, and we have adapted to the challenges of the pandemic by meeting new customer needs. We will soon announce the result of our strategic review which will ensure that our brands remain relevant to future generations of customers. “