British retail brand John Lewis announced it is permanently closing down eight of its 50 stores, including major outlets in Birmingham and Watford, as well as four of its smaller At Home stores in Croydon, Newbury, Swindon and Tamworth.
The brand’s outlets at Heathrow airport and St Pancras station in London will also close shop.
The closing of its stores is likely to result in the loss of 1,300 jobs, the Guardian reports.
The company said that the shops were already facing financial challenges before the Covid-19 crisis struck, which then sped up the switch from in-store to online shopping.
“Before the virus struck, 40 per cent of John Lewis sales were online. This could now be closer to 60 per cent to 70 per cent of total sales this year and next,” the company said in a statement.
The announcement from John Lewis follows a flood of around 9,000 redundancies from other major UK retailers in recent weeks, including Harrods and Topshop owner Arcadia Group.