Clarks closes all stores in Lancashire due to coronavirus outbreak
Clarks has closed all of its stores in Lancashire and across the UK due to the coronavirus outbreak.
The shoe retailer will close all of its stores in Preston, Chorley, Wigan, Blackpool and Lytham, with immediate affect.
Clarks said the closures would be temporary, but did not provide a date for when the stores are expected to reopen.
General manager Joe Ulloa said the decision to close all 113 stores across the UK was made to help protect staff and shoppers.
He added that staff would continue to receive full pay and benefits during the closures.
"As part of our enduring commitment to the health and safety of our employees, customers and surrounding communities, we have temporarily closed all Clarks owned stores in the UK and Republic of Ireland," said Mr Ulloa.
"We reached this decision after considerable thought and input from our valued team.
"Our store employees will continue to receive pay and benefits during this temporary closure."
No date has been given for when stores are likely to reopen, but Clarks said some franchise stores might remain open and customers can still order from the website.
"We will continue to monitor the situation and will be reviewing the decision of when to re-open our stores when the health and wellbeing of our employees and customers can be protected", added Mr Ulloa.
"The impact of the coronavirus outbreak is an ever-evolving situation.
"Our team will continue to keep pace and closely follow guidance from the World Health Organisation and Public Health England."