United Kingdom

Poundland to close 100 stores amid coronavirus chaos

Popular high-street store Poundland is set to be the next chain hit by the rapidly spreading coronavirus chaos, with 100 branches to close their doors.

The bargain stores are among the small core of retailers to have remained open as the Covid-19 crisis continually escalates, though plans are now having to be re-thought.

Now a selection of 100 stores across the country are to be temporarily closed, with the company citing the need for a 'hibernation period' while the country battles to get the spread of the deadly virus under control.

The coronavirus is now impacting high-street giants Poundland, with store closures outlined

Protective screens have been adopted in stores remaining open, to minimise social contact

UK STORES TO HAVE SHUT THEIR DOORS

As the ongoing chaos of coronavirus continues to sweep Britain, numerous stores have brought about temporary closure, including:

John Lewis; Next; Zara; Debenhams; Selfridges; Primark; TK Maxx; The Body Shop; Calvin Klein; Disney Store; Dorothy Perkins; Gap; H&M; Ikea; Lego Stores; Miss Selfridge; New Look; Oasis; River Island; Topshop 

Reduced footfall in the stores has prompted the move, after the Government declared a lockdown period and urged the public only to leave the safety of home for essential travel, a shop of necessities, or a daily period of exercise.

On Wednesday the company outlined that the temporary closure of 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 put in place to stop the spread of Covid-19 are later lifted.

Shops set for closure are primarily those in close relationship to a fellow Poundland on the same high-street or local area.

Poundland stores located inside shopping centres or arcades which have been earmarked for general closure will also now see their shutters pulled down.

Staff working in the stores set for closure are to be moved to neighbouring Poundlands, in order to boost number and to help the process of covering for fellow employees on sick leave or those self-isolating.

Like numerous produce stores, Poundland has been feeling the effect of public panic buying

Shelves have been left bare as people stock up their homes amid fears of escalating crisis

THE BRANCHES SET FOR CLOSURES

So far 32 stores have been confirmed as certain closures, including: 

Barrow in Furness Hindpool RP

Birmingham Corporation Street

Carlisle Scotch Street

Chester Old Sealand RP

Christchurch

Crewe

Droylsden

Ebbw Vale

Falmouth

Farnham

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

Oswestry

Pontefract

Rotherham Parkgate RP

Selly Oak RP

Sutton Coldfield

Swansea Fforestfach RP

Truro

Walsall Saddlers SC

Watford 77 High Street

Whitehaven

Wick RP

Yardley Swan SC

York Monks Cross RP

Poundland have indicated that where it is not possible to transfer a member of staff, the retailer will follow procedure of putting workers on a furlough - whereby 80 per cent of the employee's wages are paid up by the Government as part of an economic safety net to retain jobs across the country.

So far 32 stores have been selected as certain closures, including branches in Birmingham, Manchester, Nottingham and Watford.

It has also been reported that around 40 contractors in the company's main office in Willenhall have been given until Friday to complete their work before being let go.

Such is the vast number of Poundland stores across the nation, eight in every nine shops will remain open to the public.

The discounter opted to remain open and count itself among the essential services after Prime Minster Boris Johnson tightened restrictions.

Like numerous produce stores around the UK, Poundland has been feeling the effect of public panic buying amid fears of an escalating crisis.

Signs have been plastered across shop windows urging customers to not only adhere as strictly as possible to social distancing, but also warning 'there's no need to buy more than necessary.' 

Last week Poundland took to social media to indicate the latest safety measures put in place across all shops, including a new system to minimise social contact.

'From today we’re starting to fit new checkout screens to help protect those working and shopping in our stores. Just one of the many measures we’ve put in place to help keep you safe,' wrote the retailer via Twitter.

The shop closures follow a rapidly growing trend across Britain's now eerily deserted high-streets, with iconic store John Lewis closing all 50 shops for first time in its 155-year history.

Only once in history has the famous retailer had to close its doors, after the flagship Oxford Street base was bombed in 1940 during World War. Even then, a pop-up business was erected just outside.

Retail giants Next have also recently announced it would be closing down all online business after workers raised concerns at being asked to come into shops and warehouses to pick up goods during the Covid-19 lockdown.

A statement from the clothing company said it had listened 'very carefully' to the concerns of employees and it was apparent that 'many increasingly feel that they should be at home in the current climate.' 

Next, Zara, Debenhams, Selfridges and Primark are among a selection of others who have taken the business decision to follow suit, while fast-food behemoth McDonalds have closed down all UK eateries.  

The store closures will effect those areas which have multiple Poundlands in close proximity

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