Poundland is shutting 100 of its shops after customer numbers plummeted during the coronavirus lockdown.

Many of the chain’s outlets have been struggling, with the chain now temporarily placing them in “hibernation”.

Staff will be moved to nearby stores to help keep up with demand where possible, while others will be put into furlough.

Poundland managing director Barry Williams said: "We served nearly three million customers last week with groceries and household essentials. It has been an amazing effort by all our colleagues.

"But people's buying patterns are naturally changing as they stick to the Government's advice to stay at home and this is having an impact."

He added: "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."

Poundland is furloughing 250 colleagues based at its offices in Willenhall, in the West Midlands, and Watford in Hertfordshire.

About 40 contractors working at Willenhall are also being stood down at the end of this week.

If there is no work available nearby, the company said it would look to access the government’s lay-off scheme for shop workers to "protect jobs for the future".

The retailer has 860 stores in the UK and Ireland.

Here are the first 32 branches Poundland plans to close: