UK footwear retailer Shoe Zone has announced that it permanently closed an additional 20 stores during the coronavirus pandemic lockdown.

The company will reopen only 470 of its 490 stores when permitted.

The move is part of the cost reduction measures and follows an extensive review of the store portfolio.

In addition to closing stores, the retailer has taken immediate action to minimise costs at Head Office and halted discretionary spending.

It also initiated negotiations with landlords and reduces, cancelled or deferred supplier orders to the maximum extent.

The Head Office rationalisation programme would incur an additional £0.3m in its redundancy payments after the balance sheet date.

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By GlobalData

Shoe Zone, which started store closure on 24 March, has reopened all stores in England, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland stores by the 15 June.

Welsh and Scottish stores will be reopened subject to the respective government approvals.

Across the reopened stores, the retailer has retrofitted Perspex screens, floor distance markings and placing restriction on the number of customers entering the stores.

Meanwhile, the online operation remains serving customers with sales increasing from around 6.5% of total company sales to 17% of previously forecasted sales for the lockdown period.

In February, Shoe Zone reportedly warned the closure of 100 UK stores if the property tax is not reformed, reported BBC.