B&M is temporarily closing 49 of its stores due to the coronavirus epidemic.
Shops that are being closed are typically smaller outlets and ones located in shopping centres, the discounter said.
⚠️ Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest news & updates
The retailer said 42 of the 49 stores that are due to shut are close to other larger B&M stores.
B&M, which has 656 stores in the UK, said the decision came after a review of its trading operations during the coronavirus crisis.
Heron Foods, which is owned by B&M, is unaffected and all stores are open for business.
B&M decided to stay open after the government ordered the closure of all non-essential shops last week so that it could provide customers with bargain food groceries and household items during the lockdown.
Big retailers open today
- Marks & Spencer (only stores with food halls)
- Boots (healthcare and pharmacy only)
- Homebase (home delivery only)
- Wickes (home delivery and click and collect)
- B&Q (home delivery and click and collect)
- Screwfix (home delivery and click and collect)
- Pets At Home
- Holland And Barrett
- Halfords (auto centres only, not stores)
- WH Smith – 60 percent of stores closed
- Starbucks – still open to drive-through
But now the retailer says it’s reviewed its store structuring “in light of current trading conditions affecting those locations”.
Staff at the affected stores have been furloughed under the government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.
This will see up to 80 per cent of wages paid by the government via a grant to employers.
B&M said: “We will review the trading patterns on an on-going basis and intend to re-open those stores as soon as normal shopping patterns resume.”
B&M told The Sun it couldn’t give us a full list of temporary shop closures.
Shoppers who need to visit the retailer for essential products should use the online store locator to find contact information for their nearest shop so they can check if it’s still open.
The discounter couldn’t say when it expects all stores to reopen.
The remaining B&M branches will continue operating under usual hours during the coronavirus crisis.
The store closure announcement comes after B&M revealed it was extending its 10 per cent staff discount to NHS workers to say thanks for all their hard work.
The store is prioritising food and toiletries over general merchandise to keep shelves stocked with the most essential products.
It has urged shoppers to observe social distancing measures while shopping.
CO with the FLOW
Tesco delivery slots – when will more be released for click and collect?
It comes after Poundland announced yesterday it was closing 100 stores partly due to a drop in footfall during the spread of COVID-19.
Earlier in March, B&M also announced a £1million donation to support food banks across the country.
Morrisons has also set aside £10million of groceries to restock food banks.