John Lewis could close another eight stores

They have already closed 8 stores in 2020, the destruction of the high street is almost complete.

Meanwhile the likes of Amazon continue to profit as the economic model is unaffected.

Article from Telegraph below…

The John Lewis Partnership is poised to close almost a fifth of its remaining department stores as the Covid pandemic forces shoppers online.

Chairwoman Dame Sharon White is said to be considering the closure of up to eight of its remaining 42 stores in the latest sign of the trading pain hitting high street chains.

The final number of closures, which will put hundreds more jobs at risk, is subject to negotiations with landlords, the Sunday Times reported. Larger, older stores are thought to be in the most danger, although some could be relocated to new sites.

More closures would be the second major wave of cost-cutting at the retailer within six months as its finances are hammered by the pandemic.

Last July the business announced plans to close eight stores – including its Birmingham flagship – at a cost of 1,300 jobs, and is in the process of cutting 1,500 head office roles.

The partnership is desperate to cut costs after posting a £635m loss last September, prompting it to scrap bonuses for its 80,000 staff for the first time since 1953.

John Lewis has also been among the beneficiaries of rising online sales since the pandemic struck and expects up to 70pc of its sales could be digital as soon as 2025, prompting the radical rethink of its store estate.

A pre-Covid review of the portfolio by Dame Sharon’s predecessor Sir Charlie Mayfield is said to have found up to 20 of its stores were not viable.

The partnership is expected to confirm the latest round of store closures before or alongside its annual results on March 11.

The move would widen the gaping hole on high streets left by the failure of Debenhams and Sir Philip Green’s Arcadia Group in a dire period for chains with a large bricks and mortar presence.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak is expected to extend the business rates relief introduced last March in next week’s Budget, but has delayed a Treasury review into rates reform until the autumn.

Retailers have been pressing for an overhaul of the system to level up the playing field against online rivals such as Amazon.