ARGOS have confirmed that any stores that have not reopened since March will remain shut permanently, with more closures set to follow.

The Sainsbury’s owned chain, which has branches at Blackburn Townsmoor Retail Park, as well as in Burnley Retail Park, Accrington, Colne, Clitheroe and Chorley have not yet confirmed which additional branches will be shut but say that around 450 stores will be closed by March 2024.

This means that 120 stores around the country are already set to remain closed.

J Sainsbury PLC chief executive Simon Roberts said: "Argos sales have been strong over the past six months and we have gained almost two million new customers as people have re-connected with Argos.

“Over the next three years we will make Argos a simpler, more efficient and more profitable business while still offering customers great convenience and value and improving availability.

Speaking about employees who are set to lose jobs he added: “We will work really hard to find alternative roles for as many of these colleagues as possible and expect to be able to offer alternative roles for the majority of impacted colleagues.”

“Given the unprecedented circumstances of this year and the challenges facing our colleagues, including the changes we are announcing today, I have informed the board that if a bonus is payable, I will waive any bonus entitlement for this financial year.”

Argos has taken the decision partly due to the pressure caused by the coronavirus pandemic and partly due to plans to extent Argos collection points in supermarkets and convenience stores around the country.

As a result, the company has decided that stand alone Argos stores are no longer necessary in many areas.

Argos has also pledged that the process is redeploying staff is set to be concluded in the new year while to process of reviewing which additional stores are to be closed is still ongoing.