John Lewis announced on Thursday morning it is planning to close eight of its UK stores.

Around 1,300 jobs are thought to be at risk as a result of the store closures.

In a statement the company said: "Prior to the pandemic, the eight shops identified were already financially challenged and the pandemic has accelerated the switch from shopping in-store to online.

"Before the virus struck, 40 percent of John Lewis sales were online. This could now be closer to 60 to 70 percent of total sales this year and next."

The statement continued: "If redundancies are confirmed, every effort would be made to find new roles where possible for Partners who wish to remain within the Partnership.

"Opportunities could include transferring to local Waitrose shops or working for johnlewis.com and waitrose.com as they continue to grow.

"The Partnership has also made a commitment to provide support through a unique Retraining Fund, which will contribute up to £3,000 towards a recognised qualification or course for up to two years for any Partner with two years’ service or more."

The eight John Lewis stores that will be closing are as follows: