John Lewis announces a further eight stores to close putting 1,465 jobs at risk

  • Video report from ITV News Business Editor Joel Hills

Eight more John Lewis stores are to close, putting 1,465 jobs at risk as the retailer continues to adapt to changing shopping habits accelerated by lockdown measures.

Staff at the stores earmarked for closure were told on Wednesday morning they would not be reopening once restrictions are lifted in April.

Which stores are to close?

The eight shops set to close include four At Home stores in:

  • Ashford

  • Basingstoke

  • Chester

  • Tunbridge Wells

Four department stores in:

  • Aberdeen

  • Peterborough

  • Sheffield

  • York

The remaining 34 John Lewis shops in England are set to reopen from April 12 subject to government guidance.

Its Glasgow store will open on April 26 and Edinburgh on May 14.

John Lewis has been buoyed by soaring online sales in recent months. Credit: PA

This is the latest move by the retailer in a sweeping overhaul and comes eight months after the high street stalwart closed another eight stores with the loss of around 1,300 jobs.

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.

It was the first loss in the group’s history dating back to 1864.

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 view along Oxford Street, London, looking from Oxford Circus towards John Lewis, as the UK continues in lockdown. Credit: PA

It said it expects its financials to get worse over the current financial year as it continues its shake-up and warned staff they are not expected to receive a bonus until 2022-23.

Last year, the company announced separate plans to axe around 1,500 head office jobs to help cut costs.

The move was intended to help the business save around £50 million as part of wider plans to reduce total costs by £300 million.