POUNDLAND is temporarily closing 100 stores due to the coronavirus crisis.
The discounter, which has over 800 branches across the UK, has partly blamed a drop in footfall for the need to "hibernate" some shops.
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The stores are mostly in places where there are two branches close to each other or in shopping centres that are struggling to stay open just for Poundland.
The budget retailer decided to stay open after the government ordered the closure of all non-essential shops last week so that it could provide customers with bargain food groceries and household items during the lockdown.
Now it says that closing some stores will allow it to "provide better service to communities" while also putting the retailer in a better position for the business to recover once the current measures to stop the spread of COVID-19 are lifted.
Some staff will be moved to nearby stores that will remain open to cover employees who are off work due to sickness or who are currently self-isolating.
Which stores are temporarily closing?
POUNDLAND is putting 100 stores across the UK in "hibernation" during the coronavirus lockdown.
The stores are mostly in towns where there are two branches close to each other, or in a shopping centre (SC) or retail park (RP) that can't afford to stay open just for Poundland customers.
So far, it has identified 32 stores that wil be closing. These are:
- Barrow in Furness Hindpool RP
- Birmingham Corporation Street
- Carlisle Scotch Street
- Chester Old Sealand RP
- Ebbw Vale
- Gateshead Team Valley RP
- Hammersmith Kings Street
- Ilford The Mall SC
- Kings Lynn Vancouver SC
- Manchester Arndale SC
- Meadowhall SC
- Newport Spytty RP
- Nottingham Chilwell RP
- Ormskirk Two Saints RP
- Rotherham Parkgate RP
- Selly Oak RP
- Sutton Coldfield
- Swansea Fforestfach RP
- Walsall Saddlers SC
- Watford 77 High Street
- Wick RP
- Yardley Swan SC
- York Monks Cross RP
Where it's not possible to transfer a member of staff, the discounter will look to put them on furlough.
This will see up to 80 per cent of wages paid by the government via a grant to employers as part of its job retention scheme.
Around 250 members of back office staff at headquarters in Willenhall and Watford stores will also be asked to agree to be put on the scheme.
Meanwhile, around 40 contractors in the main office in Willenhall have been given until Friday to complete their work before being let go.
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But despite the closures, eight in nine stores will remain open to the public.
Barry Williams, managing director, Poundland, said: "The measures we’re taking, such as putting some stores into hibernation, will help us better serve communities from the majority of stores that remain open during this period of disruption.
"It will make sure we’re well placed for recovery once the country emerges from its current battle."
The bargain chain served three million people last week and is often relied upon by those who live within walking distance of a shop and those who cannot afford to bulk buy.
Extra safety measures have been put in place for both staff and customers at stores that remain open.
Perspex screens have been installed at checkouts, limits have been placed on the number of shoppers that can be in a stores at one time, and only some till will be open to keep customers apart.
It is also providing staff with hand sanitiser and will only be restocking shelves out of opening hours to limit contact.
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