Reports of eight more store closures is 'speculation' says John Lewis

John Lewis in Norwich

The John Lewis store in Norwich. - Credit: Archant

Retail giant John Lewis, with a store in Norwich, refused to be drawn on reports that it is closing more shops nationwide.

National reports stated the retailer's chairwoman Dame Sharon White could shut up to eight more stores permanently, with the chain’s bigger, older and regional venues most at risk.

It follows eight store closures last July with the loss of 1,300 roles.

But there was no confirmation of this today from neither the Norwich store's manager Richard Marks nor the press office.

The only statement to this newspaper from a spokeswoman was: "It was a speculative article in the Sunday Times - we don't comment on speculation."

The report stated in some cases, John Lewis would move out of some costly big premises to relocate to smaller stores nearby.

The issue of high rentals has been the cause of other large retailers to close, particularly the troubled Arcadia group which operated stores in many big shopping malls nationwide.

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However, in Norwich, John Lewis owns the massive building in All Saints Green, which it purchased for £27.7million back in 1988 when it took over the store from Bond's.

As well as this, the Norwich store operates in a lease agreement from the building which doesn't expire until 2042, giving even more security.

John Lewis is closed currently because of Covid. After the last lockdown eased, the Norwich store was one of the first which the retailer decided to reopen.

Any further announcement is expected around the time of the publication of its annual results on March 11.

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