John Lewis eyes further store closures

John Lewis eyes further store closures
(Image: John Walton/PA Wires)
// John Lewis reportedly looking to shut down another 8 stores
// It follows a similar move last summer, which saw the loss of 1300 jobs and reduced its store estate to 42
// John Lewis has not commented, but details could be revealed in its full year results on March 11

John Lewis is reportedly looking to undergo a fresh round of store closures as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to adversely impact bricks-and-mortar retail.

According to The Sunday Times, the department store chain is considering eight stores for closure as parent company John Lewis Partnership pushes on with a strategy to downsize its estate and become more digital.

The move would come after after John Lewis shut down eight stores last summer, a move that reduced its store portfolio to 42 sites.


 

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John Lewis Partnership has not yet commented on the report.

However, it’s thought that the firm could reveal details on the new round of store closures and/or further property plans March 11, when it publishes its full-year results.

Last year, John Lewis cut 1500 head office jobs while an additional 1300 were lost due to the eight store closures over summer.

Among the stores that shut were those located in Heathrow Airport, St Pancras International Station, Watford, Croydon, Swindon, and Birmingham, which had only opened in 2015.

Meanwhile for the interim period ending July 25 last year, the John Lewis Partnership posted made a pre-tax loss of £635 million – a dramatic plunge compared to the £192 half-year profit it recorded the same time the year prior.

The firm had also slashed the value of its stores by £470 million and scrapped its annual bonus for staff, the first time it has done so since 1953.

However, last month John Lewis reported early signs of progress when it raised its full-year profit forecast in the wake of the peak Black Friday and Christmas trading season.

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6 COMMENTS

  1. This is starting to look more like asset striping rather than retailing. We look forward to the 11/3/21 for actual details. This is what happens when the senior management have no actual retail experience of store management.

  2. Not only that but they are currently looking at off loading the Waitrose RDC in Leyland Lancashire possibly to a 3rd party Logistics company in effect off loading 450 partners

  3. Unfortunately their big department stores now look like beached whales in town centres that are lined with empty shops. I live near their Kingston shop and the council has made it such an unattractive place to shop that I gave up going there in case of some minor driving infraction or parking crime landing me a £60 fine (as has happened several times for straying into yellow boxes by 5cm, having wheel touching the dotted parking line, etc). Now they have a 20mph zone that is really confusing and bike lanes have narrowed the roads to the point you are afraid to drive down them as you have no room for manoeuvre. Now the town centre is a empty of shops and I have got used to having the convenience of home shopping so won’t be going back. I prefer ones like Gatley where it is a big out of town location and you can drive there without being made to feel like a hunted criminal.

    • Graham, I live near their Kingston store too, they have their own underground parking, no fines in there. It’s not that bad.

  4. Regrettably John Lewis in this digital age have no choice but to close non performing stores .
    And if they don’t they will end up like Debenhams .

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