What are non essential shops: full list of retailers closing in second lockdown

AS England gears up for a second lockdown, non-essential retailers will be forced to shut up shop for four weeks.

That means that means most of us will need to resort to internet shopping to buy things like clothes, electronics, books and Christmas presents.

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Only a small handful of critical stores will stay open – so far the government has highlighted supermarkets and garden centres as those which will be allowed.

The cabinet office has promised to release a full list of which retailers will still be able to run physical stores during the shutdown from November 5 to December 2.

Unfortunately, the government was unable to comment on when the list would be published.

However, it has already highlighted some of the areas that it considers to be non-essential.

These include:

  • clothes shops
  • electronics stores
  • car showrooms
  • travel agents
  • betting shops
  • auction houses
  • tailors
  • car washes
  • tobacco and vape shops
  • card shops
  • phone shops
  • jewellery stores
  • toyshops
  • homeware shops
  • bookstores
  • music shops

Fortunately, plenty of shops will be offering internet services as an alternative.

Which retailers WILL be staying open through lockdown

The government hasn’t released it’s full list of retailers that can stay open yet, but here’s what we know so far.

Definitely allowed to stay open:

  • Supermarkets
  • Garden centres
  • Food shops

Likely to be allowed to stay open:

  • Pound shops – Poundland is expecting to stay open
  • Pet supplies – Pets at Home says it expects to be able to keep stores open
  • Opticians
  • Hardware stores
  • Pharmacists

Here's a list of the big brands that we know will be closing their physical premises so far:


  • Stores in Wales are closed until November 9.
  • Argos stores within Sainsbury's supermarkets are also closed, but pre-paid online orders can be collected as part of your essential food shop
  • Argos stores and Argos stores within Sainsbury’s supermarkets are still open across England, Scotland and Northern Ireland, where you can pay in-store
  • But Argos stores in England will need to close from Thursday
  • Online delivery is still available.

Carphone Warehouse

  • Currently running limited hours – you can check which shops are open using the store locator
  • Shops in England to close from Thursday.


  • All UK and Ireland stores are currently closed
  • Customers can still shop online
  • If you have an order you were expecting to pick up in store it will be cancelled or replaced.


  • Some stores have opened but will have to close again from Thursday.


  • In England – for November 2, 3 and 4, stores are open as normal – but with later opening hours
  • In Wales, stores are shut now given local rules, so you can only order online and deliver to home
  • In Scotland & Northern Ireland, stores are open as normal now andwill continue to stay open post-Nov 5 (until rules change)
  • In-store experts are available online by video call.


  • Stores in England will be closed from November 5. Debenhams says it will re-open when told it is safe to do so
  • Stores in Wales are currently shut but scheduled to open on Monday November 9
  • All stores in Scotland and Northern Ireland are open
  • The store finder is up to date with which stores are open and the services that are available.

Dorothy Perkins

  • Stores in England will shut from Thursday
  • You can check all store opening hours using the store locator pages
  • Free home delivery on orders over £30 and extended returns.

Early Learning Centre and the Entertainer

  • Welsh stores are closed
  • England stores will close from Thursday.

Ernest Jones

  • Ernest Jones stores in Eire and Wales have been temporarily closed.
  • Home delivery is still available.


  • Stores in Wales have shut according with guidelines
  • Stores in the rest of the UK remain open, but will have to close from Thursday
  • Evans has updated its delivery and returns policies.


  • Stores in England must close from Thursday
  • You can still shop online and home delivery services are still running.


  • Stores will need to shut from Thursday, but customers can shop online


  • England stores will close from Thursday
  • Jessops.com and jessopsphoto.com are fully operational.

John Lewis

  • Stores in England will have to close from November 5
  • John Lewis has extended its returns policy over the Christmas period – anything bought between now and December 24 can be returned until January 28 2021.


  • Stores in Wales are shut
  • Stores in England remain open until Thursday
  • Stores in Scotland are currently open
  • Some products are restricted due to high demand.


  • All stores in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland are open until Thursday. You can click here to view opening hours.
  • Full ranges, including sale items, are available online and via the app.


  • In Wales, clothing-only stores are shut, and clothing-only floors are open for access only
  • From Thursday clothing shops across England will also need to close
  • The full range is available online or via the app.

New Look

  • All stores in England will be closed from Thursday – you can still shop the full range online
  • If you have a parcel in store awaiting collection, you must collect it by Wednesday November 4. Store opening times are available here. If you miss the deadline it will be held in store
  • New Look has also extended its returns policy.


  • Stores in Wales will reopen on Monday November 9
  • Furniture can still be delivered to a room of your choice
  • Daily order limits to allow social distancing in warehouses.


  • Stores in Wales closed from October 23
  • Shops in England will shut from November 5
  • You can get the winter ranges online.

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



  • Primark stores in Ireland, France, Belgium, Wales, Catalonia in Spain and Slovenia have already temporarily shut down
  • Shops in England to close from Thursday until December 2.
  • Primark is not available to shop online.


  • Stores in England will be closed from Thursday November 4 until December 2. Home Delivery and Click & Collect will be available as normal throughout lockdown.
  • Stores in Wales are closed until Monday November 9 2020. Click & Collect is currently not available while stores are closed. Home delivery is available as normal.
  • Stores in Scotland and Northern Ireland are open and operating as normal.


  • The majority of stores in the UK remain open, however stores in Wales have temporarily closed 
  • Shops in England will have to close on Thursday.
  • Topshop has upgraded its delivery offering so customers can get free Standard Delivery on orders over £30 to home.


  • All shops in Wales are temporarily shut until November 19 2020
  • All shops in Ireland (including Hodges Figgis) are temporarily shut until December 1 2020
  • Shops in England will have to shop from Thursday.

WH Smith

  • Across Wales, WH Smith hasclosed High Street stores that do not host a Post Office.
    Non-essential products and services are also temporarily unavailable in these stores.
  • Customers are able to continue to access key postal and banking services in these locations.
  • The Sun has asked whether WH Smith plans to take a similar approach in England.

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