The Sunday Post (Inverness)

No more closures, insists John Lewis

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John Lewis has insisted the department store chain will not close any more shops just two weeks after it announced plans to shut eight outlets.

The retailer has cut the number of shops from 51 to 34 since the pandemic began, putting almost 3,000 jobs at risk. The eight most recent closures were announced last month, leaving cities including Aberdeen, Peterborou­gh, York and Sheffield with vast empty spaces in retail centres. But news from the company’s executive director Pippa Wicks that thereareno­moreplanne­d closures would mean the chain’s two other stores in Scotland – in Glasgow and Edinburgh – could be safe.

She said: “We don’t have any more proposed closures. That would not be appropriat­e for customers or partners.”

Wicks, 58, said she thought there would be queues outside some John Lewis shops when they reopen in England tomorrow for the first time in more than four months. The company’s Glasgow store is slotted to reopen on April 26 and Edinburgh is due to reopen on May 14.

Wicks said she believed the remaining stores were financiall­y viable but closures were essential to ensure “the whole partnershi­p survives”.

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