John Lewis to Close All 50 Stores Temporarily From March 23

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John Lewis Partnership said it will shutter its stores for the first time in the British retailer’s 155-year history amid the coronavirus pandemic.

All 50 John Lewis outlets will temporarily shut after the close of business on Monday. will continue to operate as normal, alongside the organization’s Waitrose grocery stores and, the employee-owned company said in a statement.

It will “significantly” reduce its capital expenditure, which was planned for 500 million pounds ($581 million) this year. The retailer will also defer or cancel discretionary spending and reduce the supply pipeline in general merchandise.

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who has faced criticism for moving too slowly in the early stages of the outbreak, has ramped up measures in the past week. He ordered pubs, restaurants and leisure centers across the country to close from Friday night in a bid to slow the spread of the virus.

Swedish fashion retailer Hennes & Mauritz AB will also temporarily shutter its stores in the U.K., meaning the company has now closed all physical outlets in its three biggest markets.

Harrods closed most of its luxury department store in London’s Knightsbridge neighborhood yesterday, but said its food hall and pharmacy will remain open.

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