John Lewis Partnership has taken the "difficult decision" to temporarily close all 50 John Lewis shops - including its Chelmsford store - at close of business on Monday as a result of the impact of coronavirus, the retailer has announced. will continue to operate as normal, alongside Waitrose shops and This will be the first time in the 155-year history of the business that it will not open its shop doors for customers. 

Waitrose food offers within department stores at Watford, Southampton and Bluewater will also close but - which generates half the brand’s business - will continue to operate as normal, alongside

Customers can choose to have orders delivered to their home, or to Click & Collect from their local Waitrose.

The food halls within John Lewis Oxford Street and Waitrose shops which share premises with John Lewis space at Kingston, Ipswich, Stratford, Horsham, Basingstoke and Canary Wharf will remain open, along with all other Waitrose branches and grocery deliveries.