Poundland temporarily close 100 stores amid coronavirus impact
Poundland is temporarily closing 100 shops in response to the coronavirus crisis.
Around 250 central staff at its Willenhall head office and offices in Watford will also be asked to agree to a furlough.
Poundland described the step as "temporary hibernation" and said they were largely in places where it had two stores close to each other or in a shopping centre that found it difficult to stay open just for the chain.
Among the first 32 to close this week will stores in the Saddlers Centre, Walsall, in Cross Street, Oswestry, Sutton Coldfield and Corporation Street, in Birmingham city centre.
In a statement the firm said: “Hibernation will allow us to focus colleagues in a slightly smaller number of locations, provide better service to communities in consolidated stores as some colleagues transfer nearby and fill the gaps caused by other colleagues who are currently in self isolation.
“Where it’s not possible to transfer colleagues to a nearby store or other work, we’ll be seeking to actively use the government’s furlough scheme to protect jobs for the future.”
Poundland said that after this week’s action, eight out of nine of its stores would remain open to serve their communities.
The chain served nearly three million people last week and 70 per cent of what it sells is groceries and essential household items.
About 40 contract workers have also been asked to complete their work by Friday at the central office in Willenhall.
Poundland managing director, Barry Williams, added: “We served nearly three million customers last week with groceries and household essentials.
"It has been an amazing effort by all our colleagues.
"But people’s buying patterns are naturally changing as they stick to the Government’s advice to stay at home and this is having an impact.
“The measures we’re taking, such as putting some stores into hibernation, will help us better serve communities from the majority of stores that remain open during this period of disruption.
“It will make sure we’re well placed for recovery once the country emerges from its current battle.”