John Lewis, Pret A Manger and New Look to close outlets amid coronavirus pandemic

Retailers have begin to close their outlets across the UK, amid the coronavirus pandemic.

John Lewis has said it will temporarily close all 50 of its stores on Monday.

The retailer is being joined by Pret A Manager and New Look, following others like Topshop who have already shuttered their outlets.

The department store said it was the first time in its 155-year history that it will not open its shop doors for customers, but added its online site will continue to operate as normal.

Its Chairwoman Sharon White, said: “While it is with a heavy heart that we temporarily close our John Lewis shops, our partners will, where possible, be taking on important roles in supporting their fellow partners, providing critical services in Waitrose shops and ensuring our customers can get what they need through, which is seeing extremely strong demand.

“The partnership has traded for over 155 years, during which time we have faced many difficult periods, including two world wars and the 2008 financial crisis.

“On every occasion, thanks to our customers and partners, and the long standing relationships with our suppliers and stakeholders, we have emerged stronger.

“We all need to continue to support each other and our strength and resilience will be tested. But they will not be broken.”

A reduction in footfall at John Lewis stores made predicting its full year cash flow and profits “difficult”. Credit: PA

While the John Lewis stores will temporarily close, the group said its 338 Waitrose shops will remain open, as will

In a statement on Saturday evening, Pret's CEO, Pano Christou, said: "Pret’s first value is Happy Teams, Happy Customers and my priority is always to protect our teams as much as we can. For this reason, we will be closing all our UK shops temporarily from this evening. We will of course ensure any excess food goes to those who need it."

New Look mirrored the sentiment, saying in a Twitter post, the company said: “These are uncharted territories for all of us and we thank you for your continued support during this time.”

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