The company, which includes supermarket brand Waitrose, had warned earlier this month while revealing annual losses of £ 517 million that he did not expect to reopen all of his John Lewis sites when COVID-19[feminine[feminine restrictions are expected to end in April.
It cut around 1,000 jobs last year thanks to eight more store closures as partnership president Dame Sharon White decided to cut costs and prepare the chain for a post-pandemic future amid a big shift towards online sales thanks to the forced closure of the retail business deemed ‘non-essential’.
The latest cuts, which follow lengthy discussions with owners, leave just 34 John Lewis stores.
Those to remain closed are four “At Home” locations in Ashford, Basingstoke, Chester and Tunbridge Wells, and four department stores in Aberdeen, Peterborough, Sheffield and York.
John Lewis said he hopes to redeploy some of the affected partners and make up for some of the lost store activity with a strengthened online proposition and expanded click and collect service.
The latter measure would include its Waitrose operation and trials of “John Lewis shopping areas” in-store at its supermarkets.
The partnership statement said, “Unfortunately, we can no longer profitably maintain a John Lewis department store in some locations where we do not have enough customers, resulting in the proposed closures.
“All eight stores were facing financial difficulties before the pandemic.
“Given the significant shift to online shopping in recent years – and our belief that this trend will not be significantly reversed – we do not believe that the performance of these eight stores can be significantly improved. ”
He said all remaining stores in England planned to reopen from April 12 – in line with current government guidelines – while his Glasgow store would remain closed until April 26 with the Edinburgh opening on May 14.
Dame Sharon said of the closures: “Today’s announcement is very sad news for our affected partners, for our customers and for the communities we have served for many years.
“The high street is undergoing its biggest change in a generation and we are moving with it.
“Customers will always be able to benefit from the trusted service we are known for – no matter where and where they want to shop. ”
The partnership also announced that it will transfer operations from its Waitrose distribution center in Lancashire to XPO Logistics, with 436 employees moving to XPO.