Thu, 02 Jul 2020
John Lewis has said it is highly unlikely that all its stores will reopen, but has not announced the fate of its shop in Newbury.
In another blow, the owners of Café Rouge and Bella Italia, Casual Dining Group have entered administration this evening.
John Lewis announced yesterday (Wednesday) that it would be not reopen all of its stores that had closed during the coronavirus lockdown.
The list of stores has not been revealed at this time, but national newspapers reported that the Newbury store in Parkway may be among them.
A John Lewis spokeswoman said: "The reality is that we have too much store space for the way people want to shop now and we have shared this with our partners.
"As difficult as it is, it is highly unlikely we will reopen all our John Lewis stores. However no decision has been made and any details would be shared with partners first by the middle of July."
The flagship store in Parkway Shopping opened in 2012 taking over a 40,000 sq ft unit over two floors and bringing 160 jobs to West Berkshire.
Commenting on the reports, Liberal Democrat spokesperson for Newbury Lee Dillon said: "It is disappointing to see the Newbury John Lewis being mentioned for closure.
"Major brands and independent stores are both needed to maintain a healthy high street.
"If the store doesn't reopen then we need to ensure that the partners are supported with finding new roles and we need to work with the landlord to make the best use of the space in a key location within Newbury town centre.
"News of this potential closure further illustrates the threat to the local economy from the ongoing coronavirus crisis.
"The Liberal Democrats in Newbury have pledged to shop locally, in order to support local businesses and protect jobs at this difficult time; we encourage others to sign up to this commitment on our website."
Casual Dining Group, which has a Café Rouge in Parkway and Bella Italia in Market Place, has said that more than 1,900 jobs are set to be lost, with around 91 of 250 restaurants to close as administrators assess the company's finances.
Most of the closures affect Café Rouge and Bella Italia sites, although 11 Las Iguanas outlets, three Belgo restaurants and several sites at airports will also shut.