Poundland closes 44 stores to go into 'hibernation'

File photo dated 11/01/09 of a Poundland store in Brixton, London, as the retailer has announced pla

Poundland is closing stores in Norwich and Lowestoft, putting them into 'hibernation' for coronavirus. - Credit: PA

Discount retailer Poundland is closing stores in Norwich and Lowestoft among 44 nationwide despite being an essential retailer.

The chain said outlets across the UK would go in to "hibernation" after they closed on Saturday, to allow the business to focus on larger stores in consolidated areas. This comes even though they are allowed to remain open.

Among those closing is the store in Norwich's Castle Quarter and in Lowestoft's Britten Centre. Another in Ipswich's Sailmaker's Centre is closing. 

It is the latest retailer to suffer because of a drop in sales. Poundland has reported an 80pc drop in footfall since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. Staff will be placed on furlough from the hibernating stores.

Austin Cooke, Poundland’s retail director said: "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."

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