William Hill to permanentantly close 119 shops due to coronavirus crisis

WILLIAM Hill has permanently closed 119 shops due to a drop in footfall following the coronavirus crisis.

It's not clear how many jobs will be affected but the bookies said that "the majority of colleagues [will be] redeployed within the estate".

William Hill runs more than 1,500 betting shops around the UK.

The branches that are affected have already closed down as they never reopened following the easing of lockdown.

The latest round of stores is on top of the 700 branch closures announced last year, which put 4,500 jobs at risk.

But despite the closures, the chain said it was encouraged by the progress seen in over the past few months since betting stores were allowed to reopen.

Job losses since June 2020

MANY firms have announced job cuts since June as a result of the coronavirus lockdown. These include:

  • Shoe chain Aldo collapsed into administration with five stores permanently closed
  • Victoria's Secret plunged into administration, putting 800 jobs at risk
  • Fashion chain Quiz put its shop business into administration in , putting 82 stores at risk
  • British Gas owners cuts 5,000 jobs, over half of which will be in management
  • Airbus announces 1,700 job losses. It expects cuts to be made by summer 2021
  • TM Lewin says it will close all 66 of its UK shops, putting 600 jobs at risk
  • Harveys Furniture goes into administration resulting in 240 immdiate job losses and puts another 1,000 at risk
  • Upper Crust plans to make 5,000 out of its 9,000-strong workforce redundant
  • EasyJet says it plans to close hubs at Stansted, Southend and Newcastle, putting 4,500 jobs at risk
  • John Lewis is reported to be planning to cut jobs and permanently close department stores
  • Harrods has said it is consulting on cutting 680 jobs
  • Virgin Money, which owns Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank, will cut 300 jobs
  • Topshop owner Arcadia has announced plans to cut 500 office staff
  • Royal Mail is expected to cut 2,000 jobs as a result of coronavirus

 

Online, the business said that it had done well since mainstream sports started up again.

Pre-tax profit hit £141 million in the first six months of 2020, a swing from a loss of £63 million the same time last year.

Revenue was £554 million, down by a 32 per cent, which it put down to the temporary ban on sporting events during lockdown and the three-month closure of its shops.

But it added that because the retailer has bounced back so promisingly, it will repay the £24.5million it took from the government to pay furloughed staff.

Chief executive Ulrik Bengtsson said: "I am delighted with William Hill's performance in these extraordinary times.

"Our team has been remarkable, supporting each other and our customers throughout the pandemic, and I would like to thank them for their continuing efforts."

He added: "The furlough scheme provided welcome and timely support, and meant we could protect the jobs of our 7,000 UK retail colleagues.

"Therefore, given the strength of our recovery post-lockdown, we have decided to repay the furlough funds."

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