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Tuesday 7th April 2020

Coronavirus: John Lewis to close its stores temporarily

All 50 will no longer be open

In the fight against coronavirus, John Lewis has closed all 50 of its stores across the UK.

The John Lewis Partnership said it had taken the "difficult decision" to temporarily close the shops from the end of Monday, March 23.

John Lewis is closing all 50 of its stores (Credit: Cover Images)

The move was taken to help in the effort to reduce the number of people mixing in close quarters, which can cause the virus to spread.

Read more: Coronavirus: How the pandemic affects what you can do and where you can go

It will be the first time in the 155-year history of the business that its stores have had to close their doors to customers.

JohnLewis.com will still be in operation, as will Waitrose, which has adopted some specialist hours for elderly shoppers.

It is the first time John Lewis has had to close its doors to customers (Credit: Cover Images)

Read more: Coronavirus: Scientists 'developing vaccine which could be available by summer'

Although Waitrose stores will remain open, those which are part of department stores, such as Bluewater, Watford and Southampton, will close.

Meanwhile, the food halls within John Lewis Oxford Street and Waitrose stores which share a space with John Lewis, such as those in Kingston, Ipswich, Stratford, Horsham, Basingstoke and Canary Wharf will remain open.

Waitrose.com online orders will still be available as normal.

Waitrose stores which share a space with John Lewis will stay open (Credit: Cover Images)

Chairman Sharon White said: "The welfare of our customers, communities and partners is always our absolute priority.

"We need to continue to support each other and our strength and resilience will be tested. But they will not be broken."

"While it is with a heavy heart that we temporarily close our John Lewis shops, our partners will, where possible, be taking on important roles in supporting their fellow partners, providing critical services in Waitrose shops and ensuring our customers can get what they need through Johnlewis.com, which is seeing extremely strong demand.

"The partnership has traded for over 155 years, during which time we have faced many difficult periods, including two world wars and the 2008 financial crisis.

"On every occasion, thanks to our customers and partners, and the longstanding relationships with our suppliers and stakeholders, we have emerged stronger.

"We need to continue to support each other and our strength and resilience will be tested. But they will not be broken."

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