The coronavirus pandemic has already shown the devastating effects that it’s had on businesses in Watford town centre, with both Debenhams and John Lewis confirming that they will be closing their stores.
Debenhams will be disappointed to close after just two years, while John Lewis’s departure from Watford spells the end of a 140-year history in the town centre.
With the intu shopping centre also calling in administrators in June, the future is looking bleak for Watford’s famous high street.
John Lewis’s Watford branch is among eight locations that will not be reopening, the department store confirmed on July 9.
The company have also revealed that 1,300 jobs are now at risk across the eight stores.
Elected Mayor of Watford Peter Taylor issued the following statement on July 9: “John Lewis and its predecessor have played a really important part in the lives of generations of people in our town and this is undoubtedly a heart-breaking loss.
“My thoughts are with the John Lewis staff who are losing their jobs and facing a very worrying time.”
Watford MP Dean Russell said: “I am deeply disappointed to hear the news that John Lewis will not be re-opening in Watford. It has served our town well for so many years and the staff who work there have been a central part of our community.
“For many, John Lewis was synonymous with shopping in our high street. I will be writing to John Lewis to ensure that they do their utmost to support staff at this difficult time.”