Poundland placing 44 stores into 'temporary hibernation'

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Poundland is to put 44 of its stores into "temporary hibernation", due to a drop in demand under the coronavirus restrictions.

The retailer said that the affected stores will be closed from the end of trading on Friday 8 January, while its other 800 stores will remain operating as usual.

A spokesperson said: "The temporary measure reflects the 80% drop in footfall at some shopping centres and high streets as the various lockdown rules in place across the UK take effect.

"As before, the move protects the business in the short-term, and helps ensure it's well positioned once the UK emerges from the pandemic."

Affected workers will be placed on the government's furlough scheme.

Poundland did a similar thing during the first lockdown, which began in March 2020, when it closed around 120 stores before reopening them from the end of May.

Austin Cooke, Poundland's retail director said: "We learned valuable lessons during the lockdown in March about how buying patterns change as people stick to government advice to stay at home.

"Putting a small number of stores into hibernation helps protect them for the long term and focus our attention on the majority of stores that remain open to serve their neighbourhoods.

"We hope this lockdown is short and we can re-open our hibernating stores as quickly as possible and we remain grateful for the vital support schemes available to us that help protect jobs."

The hibernation programme will be kept under review, Poundland said.

The stores affected are:

Newark, St Marks Place
Londonderry Ferryquay Street NI
Grantham, Isaac Newton Centre,
Kingston upon Thames Eden Walk
Mansfield Four Seasons SC
Harlow Harvey SC
Lowestoft Britten SC
Colchester Culver Street
Ipswich Sailmakers SC
Ayr High Street
Norwich Castle Mall
Workington Campbell-Savours Way
Newmarket, The Guineas SC
Carlisle Scotch Street
Luton 31 The Mall SC
Dumfries, Loreburne SC
Belfast Castlecourt SC NI
Glasgow Union Street
Newry Buttercrane SC NI
Falkirk Howgate SC
Enniskillen Erneside SC NI
Edinburgh Princes Street
Newry Quays SC NI
Perth St Johns SC
Inverness High Street
Cardiff 121 Queens Street
Kirkcaldy Mercat SC
Bridgwater Angel Place SC
Cramlington Manor Walks SC
Burnley 82 Charter Walk SC
Middlesbrough Captain Cook Square SC
Preston Fishergate Centre
Durham Riverwalk SC
Rochdale Exchange SC
Beverley Flemingate SC
Chester Frodsham Street
Farnham The Borough
Bootle Strand SC
Fareham Market Quay
Solihull High Street
Fareham Whiteley SC
Newcastle under Lyme Castle Walk
Crewe Market St
Merry Hill SC