Primark UK stores closing ‘until further notice’

Primark’s 189 UK stores have closed “until further notice”, as demand drops due to social-distancing during the coronavirus pandemic.

It has already shut stores elsewhere and said it wanted to protect the health of employees and customers.

The fashion chain’s CEO Paul Marchant said it faces “unprecedented, and frankly unimaginable times”.

Other High Street retailers, such as John Lewis and Timpson, have already announced closures amid the pandemic.

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

Meanwhile the John Lewis department store chain will close all of its 50 shops temporarily from Monday for the first time in its 155-year history.

The online site will still be available, while the group’s 338 Waitrose stores will stay open to deal with a spike in demand for groceries. More than 2,000 John Lewis workers are already working across Waitrose.

Other retailers have said that they would shut their shops temporarily although government has not yet ordered them to close, unlike restaurants, bars and pubs.

The chief executive of the Timpson Group posted on social media that the shoe repair firm’s 2,150 stores would shut from Monday.