Primark to close all UK stores from tonight due to coronavirus
22 March 2020, 14:22 | Updated: 22 March 2020, 15:09
Budget high street store Primark has announced it is closing its doors of all 189 UK stores until further notice.
A Primark spokesperson said: “With the health and welfare of our employees and customers front of mind, we have made the decision to close our stores in the UK, until further notice.
"We thank all our employees, customers, suppliers and partners for their continued support.”
The Financial Times earlier reported that Associated British Foods Plc, which owns the retail chain, had cancelled all new orders from suppliers.
It is understood that orders from factories in Bangladesh and India were cancelled, but the company will honour orders which have already been shipped or delivered to warehouses.
The chain has become the latest high street giant to close the shutters while many socially distance themselves at home.
Key cutting and shoe repair retailer Timpson will shut all of its 2,150 stores from 5pm tomorrow.
The company says all staff will continue to receive full pay.
And New Look closed all of its stores - although will continue to allow shoppers to purchase items online.
Workers have been offered options of unpaid voluntary leave, voluntary reduced hours or the chance to use their holiday allowance.
A date has not yet been set for their re-opening.
Ikea, Pret a Manger, and Starbucks are also completely shut.
The move comes after Boris Johnson said all bars, restaurants and pubs needed to close to help "flatten the curve" of coronavirus cases in the UK.