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NEW DELHI : Shoppers Stop is laying off 1,100 employees and will close underperforming stores as one of India’s oldest department-store chain reels from the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

A person familiar with the matter said on Friday that those being laid off comprise 1,000 employees across Shoppers Stop stores, while the rest are from its Mumbai head office.

“Like other retailers, we will be looking at closing lower performing and unsustainable stores. With business declining, layoffs are unfortunately inevitable," a Shoppers Stop spokesperson said in response to emailed queries. The spokesperson did not disclose the number of employees being laid off.

“With a limitation on adding new stores in this situation, the size of our business is effectively reduced and, unfortunately, we need to adjust our cost base in such times," the spokesperson said.

All the impacted employees will receive salary for two months and the company could consider rehiring them when business improves.

The news was first reported by The Economic Times newspaper.

Shoppers Stop had 7,500 employees, according to its December quarter earnings presentation.

The pandemic and prolonged lockdown, especially the closure of malls, has severely hit retailers.

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