John Lewis has announced it will not be re-opening its Sheffield and York stores after lockdown. It stated that eight of its stores across the country will no re-open in yet another hit to the high street.
The York John Lewis on the the Vangarde Shopping Park which opened back in 2014 will see 209 staff affected by the closure of the store. And the Sheffield store in the city centre which has been open since 1940 will see a huge blow to the city.
In total the John Lewis closing of eight stores will leave 1,465 jobs under threat. There is a consultation period with staff where a decision will be made at the end of June.
Sharon White, Chairman of the John Lewis Partnership said: “We are very sad about the proposed closure of our York and Sheffield store and we’re very grateful for our loyal customers and Partners for their support over the years.
“This is a difficult decision but it is necessary to secure the whole Partnership for the future. If the closure goes ahead, we have put together a carefully considered package of support for our York Partners and would look to redeploy as many of them as possible.”
A spokeperson said: “Given the significant shift to online shopping in recent years – and our belief that this trend will not materially reverse – we do not think the performance of these stores can be substantially improved.
“We expect 60% to 70% of John Lewis sales to be made online in the future. Nearly 50% of our customers now use a combination of both store and online when making a purchase.”
The eight shops that have been identified for closure are Ashford, Basingstoke, Chester and Tunbridge Wells and four department stores in Aberdeen, Peterborough, Sheffield and York.
The news comes as Sheffield-Founded brand Thorntons anounced it will not be re-opening its stores after lockdown either – leaving the high street worrying for its future.
This is a breaking news story more information to follow.