John Lewis considers permanently closing some stores after lockdown

John Lewis London

The chair of John Lewis has admitted the retailer may permanently close some of its department stores, even after the coronavirus lockdown ends.

Dame Sharon White warned of potential store closures and job losses when she took over from Sir Charlie Mayfield in February at the group, which also owns the grocer Waitrose, as the department store chain was struggling to return to profitability even prior to the coronavirus outbreak.

Speaking to City analysts yesterday, White said “no decisions had been taken” on specific store closures but she did not rule out some of the 50 department stores across the UK not reopening once the lockdown is over.

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