Retailers John Lewis have announced the temporary closure of all of their stores in the latest blow to the UK high street amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The John Lewis Partnership said it was the first time in its 155-year history that it will not open its shop doors for customers, but added its online site Johnlewis.com will continue to operate as normal.
The group said it will temporarily shut all of its 50 John Lewis stores at the close of business on March 23.
John Lewis chairwoman Sharon White, said in a statement: “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 long standing relationships with our suppliers and stakeholders, we have emerged stronger.
“We all 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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