SHOE Zone is axing 20 of its stores and has cut jobs after facing losses during the coronavirus pandemic.
The discount shoe retailer, which employs 3,500 staff, said 470 of its 490 shops will reopen across the UK by the end of the month, but 20 had closed their doors for good.
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It will also continue to review stores after reopening as the high street looks to recover from the pandemic.
Shoe Zone said it took "immediate action" after the UK was placed in lockdown in March, cutting jobs across its head office in Leicester and stopping discretionary spending.
It also launched a buy-one-get-one-free sale to help shift stock during lockdown.
Its half-year results in the six months to April 4 showed this helped the troubled chain as internet sales accounted for 17 per cent of sales, up from 6.5 per cent.
But Shoe Zone has also faced losses of £2.5 million.
Sales tumbled 5.6 per cent to £68.9 million, which it said was due to the pandemic and closure of all its shops on March 24 – with revenues having risen by 2.6 per cent in the five months to February.
It also had extra charges of £1.2 million from the crisis, after £300,000 for redundancy costs and £900,000 in write-downs on the value of its store freeholds.
Businesses in turmoil in 2019 and 2020
Shoe Zone is the latest in a long list of businesses to be facing trouble.
In 2019 and so far in 2020 we've seen:
- Jamie Oliver's "Jamie's Italian"chain go bust, alongside his Fifteen and Barbecoa restaurants
- Links of London go into administration putting 350 jobs at risk
- Marks and Spencer close 35 more stores as it pushes forward with plans to axe 145 shops across the UK
- Dozens of Monsoon and Accessorize stores close
- Struggling shoe shop Office has said it "could close shops" as part of restructuring plans
- Fears Pizza Express could be next to go into administration as it "brings in emergency advisers"
- Hairdressing chain Supercutswent into administration in October 2019 putting 1,200 jobs and 220 salons at risk
- Maternity and baby retailer Mothercare collapsed into administration in November 2019 after 58 years on the high street, putting 2,500 jobs at risk
- Department store chain Bealeswent into administration in January 2020 with 23 shops and 1,052 jobs at risk
- High end fashion brand Ted Baker said it plans to axe 160 jobs in February 2020
- Mobile phone retailer Carphone Warehousesaid in March 2020 that it'll close all 531 standalone stores in April
- Vintage furnishing and fashion firm Cath Kidston said it was closing all 60 high street stores in March 2020
- Fashion store Animal said in April 2020 it was closing all 21 of its UK stores
- Department store chain Debenhams fell into administration for the second time in April 2020
- P&O Ferries said in May 2020 that it was looking at making 1,100 workers redundant
- TUI warned in May 2020 that 8,000 jobs could be cut due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis
- British Airways said in May 2020 that it still plans on pressing ahead with 12,000 job cuts
- Oasis and Warehouse went into administration in May 2020, with 1,800 staff placed on furlough
- Shoe chain Aldo collapsed into administration in June 2020 with five stores permanently closed
- Victoria's Secrets plunged into administration in June 2020, putting 800 jobs at risk
- Fashion chain Quiz put its shop business into administration in June 2020, putting 82 stores at risk
- Go Outdoors is on the brink of collapsing into administration, with 2,400 jobs at risk.
Chief executive of Shoe Zone Anthony Smith said: "Covid-19 will continue to have an unprecedented impact on the UK economy and the retail industry.
"Whilst the group has taken all possible steps to ensure that the business will survive through the crisis and continue into the future, the impact is likely to continue to be felt for several years."
The Sun has asked which stores are closing and how many jobs in total have been lost and we will update this article once we hear back.
Shoe Zone's not the only retailer to have fallen on hard times during the coronavirus crisis.
Cath Kidston announced in April it was closing its 60 shops, leading to 900 job losses.
Shoe chain Aldo collapsed into administration at the beginning of June and closed five stores permanently.
And Debenhams went into administration for a second time, meaning 1,000 jobs were lost.
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