Poundland has announced it will be closing 44 stores in a fresh blow to the high street.
The branches of the budget chain will temporarily shut down from Sunday, January 10, as the coronavirus pandemic continues to hit the industry.
There has been an 80% drop in footfall since the virus first struck last March, and now dozens of stores are going to be put into "hibernation".
Austin Cooke, Poundland’s retail director said: "We learned valuable lessons during the lockdown in March about how buying patterns change as people stick to government advice to stay at home.
"Putting a small number of stores into hibernation helps protect them for the long term and focus our attention on the majority of stores that remain open to serve their neighbourhoods.
"We hope this lockdown is short and we can re-open our hibernating stores as quickly as possible and we remain grateful for the vital support schemes available to us that help protect jobs."
Around 800 Poundland stores will remain open, the company said. The business has not said when it hopes to reopen the closed sites.
Poundland will place staff in "hibernating" stores on furlough "where appropriate".
During the first Covid-19 lockdown in March, the firm closed around 120 shops before starting to reopen them from the end of May.
The budget chain has been allowed to stay open throughout the pandemic as it is classed as an essential shop because it sells food, medicine and other important products.
But people are again being reminded they should only leave the house for essential shopping after the country was plunged into a third national lockdown earlier this week.
Poundland said that in the majority of locations where a store is closing, there will be another branch open nearby.
These are the 44 stores that will temporarily close their doors from Sunday, January 10.
- Newark, St Marks Place
- Londonderry Ferryquay Street NI
- Grantham, Isaac Newton Centre,
- Kingston upon Thames Eden Walk
- Mansfield Four Seasons SC
- Harlow Harvey SC
- Lowestoft Britten SC
- Colchester Culver Street
- Ipswich Sailmakers SC
- Ayr High Street
- Norwich Castle Mall
- Workington Campbell-Savours Way
- Newmarket, The Guineas SC
- Carlisle Scotch Street
- Luton 31 The Mall SC
- Dumfries, Loreburne SC
- Belfast Castlecourt SC NI
- Glasgow Union Street
- Newry Buttercrane SC NI
- Falkirk Howgate SC
- Enniskillen Erneside SC NI
- Edinburgh Princes Street
- Newry Quays SC NI
- Perth St Johns SC
- Inverness High Street
- Cardiff 121 Queens Street
- Kirkcaldy Mercat SC
- Bridgwater Angel Place SC
- Cramlington Manor Walks SC
- Burnley 82 Charter Walk SC
- Middlesbrough Captain Cook Square SC
- Preston Fishergate Centre
- Durham Riverwalk SC
- Rochdale Exchange SC
- Beverley Flemingate SC
- Chester Frodsham Street
- Farnham The Borough
- Bootle Strand SC
- Fareham Market Quay
- Solihull High Street
- Fareham Whiteley SC
- Newcastle under Lyme Castle Walk
- Crewe Market St
- Merry Hill SC