Image copyright Reuters John Lewis has announced it is permanently closing eight of its stores, putting 1,300 workers at risk. The retailer said it had to "secure the business's long-term future and respond to customers' shopping needs". Department stores in Birmingham and Watford will not reopen as the coronavirus lockdown eases. At Home stores in Croydon, Newbury, Swindon and Tamworth will also shut down, as will travel sites at Heathrow airport and London St Pancras. The move comes a day after Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced measures aimed at safeguarding jobs amid the downturn, including a one-off £1,000 payment to employers for every furloughed employee retained to the end of January 2021. John Lewis had warned in March it could close shops as a plunge in profits forced it to cut staff bonuses...read more...