// Poundland places 44 stores into temporary hibernation due to lockdown measures
// The majority of its 800+ stores remain open
// The closures reflect the 80% drop in footfall at some shopping centres & high streets due to various lockdown rules
Poundland has announced that it will place 44 of its stores into temporary hibernation from the end of trading tomorrow.
The discount retailer said that although it is classed as an essential retailer, it was replicating the measures it took during the lockdowns of 2020 but stressed that the “vast majority” of its 800-plus stores would remain open.
Poundland added that the temporary measure reflected the 80 per cent drop in footfall at some shopping centres and high streets as the various lockdown rules in place across the UK take effect.
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The retailer also said the move protected the business in the short-term to ensure it is well positioned once the UK emerges from the pandemic.
In the first lockdown last year, Poundland temporarily closed around 120 stores in March and was able to start reopening them from the end of May.
It said that in the majority of locations where Poundland was “hibernating”, there was another store that remained open nearby.
Where appropriate, staff in hibernating stores would be placed on furlough to protect their jobs.
“We learned valuable lessons during the lockdown in March about how buying patterns change as people stick to government advice to stay at home,” Poundland retail director Austin Cooke said.
“Putting a small number of stores into hibernation helps protect them for the long term and focus our attention on the majority of stores that remain open to serve their neighbourhoods.
“We hope this lockdown is short and we can re-open our hibernating stores as quickly as possible and we remain grateful for the vital support schemes available to us that help protect jobs.”