A day after the chancellor unveiled a plan to save jobs, two of the UK's biggest retailers announce cuts.Read more
West Midlands Mayor Andy Street has described the decision by John Lewis to close its "flagship" Birmingham store as "incredibly disappointing news" and risks being "a dreadful mistake" by the firm.
Mr Street, himself a former managing director of the firm, said his thoughts were particularly with the employees - or partners - who are affected.
“There is no question that the coronavirus pandemic has caused severe economic damage and uncertainty, but I still have enormous faith in Birmingham as a place to do business," he said in a statement.
"The city is one of the top three in the whole of the UK for retail, with high footfall and many other retailers thriving in recent years."
Despite John Lewis's decision he said his belief in the store was "unwavering" and that it could still "be a great success".
At this stage the closure is still only a proposal, and one which I believe risks being a dreadful mistake. Therefore I will be making the case for why the company should not give up this tremendous opportunity in Birmingham."
John Lewis said it had to "secure the business's long-term future and respond to customers' shopping needs".
The Watford department store will not reopen and the John Lewis At Home store in Croydon will also shut down, as will travel sites at Heathrow airport and London St Pancras.
John Lewis has confirmed it will reopen a further nine department stores on Thursday, including two in Yorkshire, having opened 13 department stores last week.
On Monday, the government allowed some non-essential shops to reopen to the public with social-distancing measures in place.
The stores which are reopening in Yorkshire are in Leeds and York.
John Lewis has announced plans to open nine more shops next Thursday, including one in the South East, as retailers begin welcoming shoppers back to stores.
The John Lewis department stores which will reopen to customers on June 25 are; Cribbs Causeway, Leeds, Liverpool, Milton Keynes, Newcastle, Peter Jones, Southampton, Tunbridge Wells and York, the retail added.
Further announcements on reopenings will be made in the coming weeks, the employee-owned retailer said, and more customers will be allowed in stores following lessons learned from the stores already open.
John Lewis says its store in Nottingham will reopen on Thursday 18 June.
The Victoria Centre outlet is among 13 that will resume business in that week after being given the green light by the government.
The retailer has not said when it plans to reopen its Leicester store.
John Lewis said fitting rooms and in-store cafes would stay shut to customers until further notice, while it will also reduce the availability of customer services, such as beauty services.
The number of entrances is also being reduced and there will be restrictions on the number of customers allowed in.
John Lewis's 50 UK stores have been closed since the nationwide lockdown was announced on 23 March.