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Coronavirus: Shoe Zone closes stores and cuts head office jobs

Shoe Zone store in Leicester city centre

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In February, Shoe Zone warned 100 stores could close because of business rates

Retailer Shoe Zone is closing 20 stores and cutting head office jobs amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The Leicester-based firm is planning to reopen 470 of its 490 shops across the UK by the end of the month.

It will continue to review stores as the high street aims to recover.

Chief executive Anthony Smith said Covid-19 would continue to have an “unprecedented impact” on the UK economy and retail industry “for several years”.

In February, Shoe Zone warned it could be forced to close 100 stores if business rates did not change.

The following month, the UK went into lockdown with non-essential stores forced to close.

Shoe Zone said it took “immediate action” by cutting jobs for head office staff in Leicester and pausing all discretionary spending.

Shares fell three per cent as the group warned that the retail sector would take years to recover from the crisis.

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Shoe Zone has continued to sell online throughout the lockdown

Shoe Zone continued to sell online throughout the lockdown, with internet sales now accounting for 17% of all sales.

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