Coronovirus shutdown: Primark and John Lewis to close Leicester stores

Primark’s stores in Fosse Park and Leicester city centre will close on Sunday for a temporary period, as demand drops due to social-distancing during the coronavirus pandemic.

The retail giant is closing all of its 189 UK stores, while its parent company has temporarily closed shops in Europe and cancelled all future orders from suppliers.

Primark boss Paul Marchant said it faces “unprecedented, and frankly unimaginable times”.

A spokesperson for Primark said that any staff affected by store closures would receive full pay for their contracted hours for 14 days.

The news comes as the coronavirus outbreak wreaks havoc on the UK high street, with a number of major chains taking drastic measures to stay afloat.

Earlier in the week, John Lewis announced that it would be closing all of its 50 stores temporarily from Monday, including Leicester’s Highcross store.

Its online site will still be available, while the group’s 338 Waitrose stores will stay open to deal with the huge demand for groceries. Over 2,000 John Lewis workers are already working and supporting its Waitrose stores.

New Look, Pret a Manger and the Arcadia Group, which owns Topshop, are among other high street chains to roll out temporary store closures.

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