More John Lewis stores reportedly set to close - will Ipswich survive?

The Futura Park branch of John Lewis in Ipswich

The Futura Park branch of John Lewis in Ipswich - Credit: SARAH LUCYBROWN

John Lewis is reportedly looking to close several of its remaining department stores as the pandemic continues to drive shoppers online.

Up to eight of the department store chain's 42 stores could be closing, but the final number of closures will be subject to negotiations with landlords according to the Sunday Times.

The newspaper reported that the closures would fall more heavily on older and larger stores — perhaps hinting the Ipswich store, which opened in 2012, would be saved.

A spokeswoman for the chain declined to comment on the original Sunday Times story, or if Ipswich was one of the stores at risk of closure.

This latest round of closures come after the firm which owns John Lewis and Waitrose announced a proposal to cut up to 1,500 roles.

The proposal will affect staff at its head office sites in Victoria, central London, and Bracknell, Berkshire.

The move is intended to help the business save around £50 million as part of wider plans to reduce its total costs by £300 million.

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The head office cuts come on top of plans to shut eight John Lewis stores with the loss of 1,300 jobs and the closure of four Waitrose stores in a move affecting 124 staff.

In January, a spokeswoman said of the proposed cuts: "These difficult but necessary changes will help us to create a simpler, pacier head office that enables us to deliver our five-year Partnership Plan."

The spokeswoman added that the company will seek to redeploy workers affected by the cuts and will provide redundancy support and funding for retraining for staff whom they are unable to find new roles.

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