Poundland is placing 44 of its UK stores into temporary hibernation from the end of trading on Saturday (9 January) as a result of the ongoing lockdown restrictions.
The budget retailer has said the move is to protect the business in the short-term and reflects the 80 per cent drop in footfall at shopping centres and highstreets across the country.
Poundland is replicating the measures it took during the lockdowns throughout 2020, with 44 or its 800-plus stores to be temporarily hibernated.
As an essential retailer, the vast majority of its stores will remain open to serve customers in their communities.
In the first 2020 lockdown last March, Poundland hibernated around 120 stores and was able to start reopening them from the end of May.
Hibernation allows the retailer to focus workers in a slightly smaller number of locations and provide a better service to communities in consolidated stores.
In the majority of locations that will be hibernated from this weekend, there is another Poundland store that will remain open nearby. All stores that are still open continue to have rigorous health and hygiene measures in place to protect staff and customers.
Where appropriate, workers in hibernating stores will be placed on furlough to protect their roles for the future. Any furloughed staff will retain their benefits and employment status.
It is intended that the move will ensure the retailer is well positioned once the UK emerges from the pandemic.
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.”
Full list of stores
The following Poundland stores will enter hibernation from Sunday 10 January:
- Newark, St Marks Place
- Grantham, Isaac Newton Centre
- Mansfield Four Seasons Shopping Centre
- Lowestoft Britten Shopping Centre
- Ipswich Sailmakers Shopping Centre
- Norwich Castle Mall
- Newmarket, The Guineas Shopping Centre
- Luton 31 The Mall Shopping Centre
- Belfast Castlecourt Shopping Centre NI
- Newry Buttercrane Shopping Centre NI
- Enniskillen Erneside Shopping Centre NI
- Newry Quays Shopping Centre NI
- Londonderry Ferryquay Street NI
- Inverness High Street
- Kirkcaldy Mercat Shopping Centre
- Cramlington Manor Walks Shopping Centre
- Middlesbrough Captain Cook Square Shopping Centre
- Durham Riverwalk Shopping Centre
- Beverley Flemingate Shopping Centre
- Farnham The Borough
- Fareham Market Quay
- Fareham Whiteley Shopping Centre
- Crewe Market Street
- Kingston upon Thames Eden Walk
- Harlow Harvey Shopping Centre
- Colchester Culver Street
- Ayr High Street
- Workington Campbell-Savours Way
- Carlisle Scotch Street
- Dumfries, Loreburne Shopping Centre
- Glasgow Union Street
- Falkirk Howgate Shopping Centre
- Edinburgh Princes Street
- Perth St Johns Shopping Centre
- Cardiff 121 Queens Street
- Bridgwater Angel Place Shopping Centre
- Burnley 82 Charter Walk Shopping Centre
- Preston Fishergate Centre
- Rochdale Exchange Shopping Centre
- Chester Frodsham Street
- Bootle Strand Shopping Centre
- Solihull High Street
- Newcastle under Lyme Castle Walk
- Merry Hill Shopping Centre