UK

John Lewis ‘is set to shut eight of its 42 remaining department stores’

John Lewis ‘is set to shut eight more of its 42 department stores’, just seven months after axing another eight of its locations – including the flagship shop

  • John Lewis could shut a fifth of its 42 remaining stores as sales move online
  • Chairwoman Dame Sharon White has reportedly marked eight shops for closure  
  • This follows the closure of eight stores in July, which saw the loss of 1,300 jobs
  • Cuts of £300m per year is needed in the wake of the virus to secure its future

John Lewis could close eight more of its remaining branches, with larger older shops most likely to close for good, it is claimed.

The department store could shut a fifth of its 42 remaining stores, as negotiations with landlords continue and hundreds of jobs are put at risk, The Sunday Times reports. 

Any announcement of closures is expected to take place alongside the company’s annual results on March 11.

John Lewis Partnership’s chairwoman Dame Sharon White has reportedly put forward eight shops for closure in an effort to further cut costs after the company suffered a £635m loss last September, The Sunday Times reports. 

The news follows the closure of eight John Lewis stores, including John Lewis’ flagship Birmingham store, and the loss of 1,300 jobs in July last year – which was followed by a further 1,500 jobs axed from head office in November. 

John Lewis Partnership’s chairwoman Dame Sharon White has reportedly put forward eight shops for closure, Sunday Times reports

Prior to the pandemic Sir Charlie Mayfield, the former chairman, found that 20 of its department stores were no longer viable – the company predicts 70 per cent of its sales will be made online by 2025, the Mirror reports. 

The John Lewis Partnership, which also owns Waitrose, is trying to save £300million per year in the wake of the virus to secure its long-term future.

The job cuts announced in November represented almost a third of its 5,000 head office staff and will help the firm save £50million a year.

It has already closed one of its two central London offices, and plans to convert excess space on the upper floors of its flagship Oxford Street floor into offices.    

In 2019 it made 75 of its 225 senior managers redundant. It hopes the plans will help to stall years of falling profits, and allow it to make £400million a year by 2025.

Any announcement of closures is expected to take place alongside the company's annual results on March 11.  John Lewis department store, Oxford Street, London

Any announcement of closures is expected to take place alongside the company’s annual results on March 11.  John Lewis department store, Oxford Street, London

GDP tumbled by 2.6 per cent in November as the second coronavirus lockdown hammered the economy, official figures revealed in January. In this chart, 100 represents the size of the economy in 2018

GDP tumbled by 2.6 per cent in November as the second coronavirus lockdown hammered the economy, official figures revealed in January. In this chart, 100 represents the size of the economy in 2018 

Chairman Sharon White said in November: ‘Losing partners is incredibly hard as an employee-owned business. Our partnership plan sets a course to create a thriving and sustainable business for the future. To achieve this we must be agile and able to adapt quickly to the changing needs of our customers.’  

Department stores have been hit hardest as shoppers turn to online competitors, especially to buy clothes and electrical items. Retailers are also battling a storm of rising staff costs, rents and business rates.

John Lewis’s ‘never knowingly undersold’ pledge has also come under scrutiny as heavy discounting elsewhere on the high street has forced it to lower prices.

It said fashion, make-up and skincare ranges performed well over the Christmas period.

But sales were dragged down by the home, electricals and home technology markets, which bosses partly blamed on low consumer confidence.

John Lewis declined to comment. 

Major job cuts and losses since the Covid-19 pandemic began  

There have been more than 250,000 job losses or potential redundancies announced since the start of the pandemic.

Here is a list of some of the high-profile British employers that have announced major cuts since March 23:

Total: 265,185

  • February 21 2021 – John Lewis – hundreds of jobs at risk 
  • November 27 – Arcadia Group – 13,000 at risk
  • November 26 – Mitchells & Butlers – 1,300
  • November 19 – E.On – 700
  • November 17 – Johnson Service Group – 1,550
  • November 12 – WH Smith – 200
  • November 9 – Reach – 150
  • November 5 – Sainsbury’s – 3,500
  • November 5 – Caterpillar – 700
  • November 4 – John Lewis Partnership – 1,500
  • November 4 – Lloyds – 1,070
  • October 29 – Pizza Express – 1,300
  • October 27 – Revolution Bars – 130
  • October 16 – Pret a Manger – 400
  • October 15 – Marston’s – 2,150
  • October 14 – Gourmet Burger Kitchen – 362
  • October 9 – Edinburgh Woollen Mill – 24,000 at risk
  • October 8 – National Trust – 1,300
  • October 8 – HSS Hire – 300
  • October 7 – Manchester Airport Group – 892
  • October 7 – Greene King – 800
  • October 6 – Virgin Money – 400
  • October 6 – Vp – 150
  • October 5 – Cineworld – 5,500 (many cuts likely to be temporary)
  • September 30 – TSB – 900
  • September 30 – Shell – 9,000 worldwide
  • September 29 – Ferguson – 1,200
  • September 22 – Wetherspoon – 400 to 450
  • September 22 – Whitbread – 6,000
  • September 18 – Investec – 210
  • September 15 – Waitrose – 124
  • September 14 – London City Airport – 239
  • September 9 – Lloyds Bank – 865
  • September 9 – Pizza Hut – 450
  • September 4 – Virgin Atlantic – 1,150
  • September 3 – Costa – 1,650
  • August 27 – Pret a Manger – 2,800 (includes 1,000 announced on July 6)
  • August 26 – Gatwick Airport – 600
  • August 25 – Co-operative Bank – 350
  • August 20 – Alexander Dennis – 650
  • August 18 – Bombardier – 95
  • August 18 – Marks & Spencer – 7,000
  • August 14 – Yo! Sushi – 250
  • August 14 – River Island – 350
  • August 12 – NatWest – 550
  • August 11 – InterContinental Hotels – 650 worldwide
  • August 11 – Debenhams – 2,500
  • August 7 – Evening Standard – 115
  • August 6 – Travelex – 1,300
  • August 6 – Wetherspoons – 110 to 130
  • August 5 – M&Co – 380
  • August 5 – Arsenal FC – 55
  • August 5 – WH Smith – 1,500
  • August 4 – Dixons Carphone – 800
  • August 4 – Pizza Express – 1,100 at risk
  • August 3 – Hays Travel – up to 878
  • August 3 – DW Sports – 1,700 at risk
  • July 31 – Byron – 651
  • July 30 – Pendragon – 1,800
  • July 29 – Waterstones – unknown number of head office roles
  • July 28 – Selfridges – 450
  • July 27 – Oak Furnitureland – 163 at risk
  • July 23 – Dyson – 600 in UK, 300 overseas
  • July 22 – Mears – fewer than 200
  • July 20 – Marks & Spencer – 950 at risk
  • July 17 – Azzurri Group (owns Zizzi and Ask Italian) – up to 1,200
  • July 16 – Genting – 1,642 at risk
  • July 16 – Burberry – 150 in UK, 350 overseas
  • July 15 – Banks Mining – 250 at risk
  • July 15 – Buzz Bingo – 573 at risk 
  • July 14 – Vertu – 345
  • July 14 – DFS – up to 200 at risk
  • July 9 – General Electric – 369
  • July 9 – Eurostar – unknown number
  • July 9 – Boots – 4,000
  • July 9 – John Lewis – 1,300 at risk
  • July 9 – Burger King – 1,600 at risk
  • July 7 – Reach (owns Daily Mirror and Daily Express newspapers) – 550
  • July 6 – Pret a Manger – 1,000 at risk
  • July 2 – Casual Dining Group (owns Bella Italia and Cafe Rouge) – 1,909
  • July 1 – SSP (owns Upper Crust) – 5,000 at risk
  • July 1 – Arcadia (owns TopShop) – 500
  • July 1 – Harrods – 700
  • July 1 – Virgin Money – 300
  • June 30 – Airbus – 1,700
  • June 30 – TM Lewin – 600
  • June 30 – Smiths Group – ‘some job losses’
  • June 25 – Royal Mail – 2,000
  • June 24 – Jet2 – 102
  • June 24 – Swissport – 4,556
  • June 24 – Crest Nicholson – 130
  • June 23 – Shoe Zone – unknown number of jobs in head office
  • June 19 – Aer Lingus – 500
  • June 17 – HSBC – unknown number of jobs in UK, 35,000 worldwide
  • June 15 – Jaguar Land Rover – 1,100
  • June 15 – Travis Perkins – 2,500
  • June 12 – Le Pain Quotidien – 200
  • June 11 – Heathrow – at least 500
  • June 11 – Bombardier – 600
  • June 11 – Johnson Matthey – 2,500
  • June 11 – Centrica – 5,000
  • June 10 – Quiz – 93
  • June 10 – The Restaurant Group (owns Frankie and Benny’s) – 3,000
  • June 10 – Monsoon Accessorize – 545
  • June 10 – Everest Windows – 188
  • June 8 – BP – 10,000 worldwide
  • June 8 – Mulberry – 375
  • June 5 – Victoria’s Secret – 800 at risk
  • June 5 – Bentley – 1,000
  • June 4 – Aston Martin – 500
  • June 4 – Lookers – 1,500
  • May 29 – Belfast International Airport – 45
  • May 28 – Debenhams (in second announcement) – ‘hundreds’ of jobs
  • May 28 – EasyJet – 4,500 worldwide
  • May 26 – McLaren – 1,200
  • May 22 – Carluccio’s – 1,000
  • May 21 – Clarks – 900
  • May 20 – Rolls-Royce – 9,000
  • May 20 – Bovis Homes – unknown number
  • May 19 – Ovo Energy – 2,600
  • May 19 – Antler – 164
  • May 15 – JCB – 950 at risk
  • May 13 – Tui – 8,000 worldwide
  • May 12 – Carnival UK (owns P&O Cruises and Cunard) – 450
  • May 11 – P&O Ferries – 1,100 worldwide
  • May 5 – Virgin Atlantic – 3,150
  • May 1 – Ryanair – 3,000 worldwide
  • April 30 – Oasis Warehouse – 1,800
  • April 29 – WPP – unknown number
  • April 28 – British Airways – 12,000
  • April 23 – Safran Seats – 400
  • April 23 – Meggitt – 1,800 worldwide
  • April 21 – Cath Kidston – 900
  • April 17 – Debenhams – 422
  • March 31 – Laura Ashley – 268
  • March 30 – BrightHouse – 2,400 at risk
  • March 27 – Chiquito – 1,500 at risk

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