John Lewis is to permanently close eight of its stores, putting 1,300 workers at risk.
The John Lewis Partnership said the decision was made to “secure the business’s long-term future and respond to customers’ shopping needs”.
It said department stores in Birmingham and Watford will be affected, along with four At Home stores in Croydon, Newbury, Swindon and Tamworth, and travel sites in Heathrow and St Pancras.
Prior to the pandemic, the eight outlets were already “financially challenged” but customers have moved away from stores and towards shopping online faster as a result of coronavirus, it said.
John Lewis Partnership chairwoman Sharon White said: “Closing a shop is always incredibly difficult and today’s announcement will come as very sad news to customers and partners.
“However, we believe closures are necessary to help us secure the sustainability of the partnership – and continue to meet the needs of our customers however and wherever they want to shop.
“Redundancies are always an absolute last resort and we will do everything we can to keep as many partners as possible within our business.”