Original article from Kent Live
Two John Lewis stores in Kent will remain permanently closed.
This comes after the company announced in March eight stores across the UK would close, including Ashford and Tunbridge Wells, putting 1,465 jobs at risk.
Head of branch for John Lewis Tunbridge Wells, Tracey Odell, confirmed with a "heavy heart" the store would remain shut.
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She explained: "When we opened eleven years ago, we never expected our time here to come to an end so soon, but we, like so many other retailers and businesses, have found it difficult to overcome the challenges of the past year.
"However, during that time I can only praise the dedication and determination of my Tunbridge Wells team.
"They are an incredible group of people who we will continue to support over the coming months and I will miss them hugely along with our customers.”
Head of branch for John Lewis Ashford, David Reid, said the closure is "a very sad occasion for me personally and my team of partners".
He added: "Everyone who has ever worked here has shown incredible commitment, passion and that has continued throughout these challenging times.
"I could not be more proud of them all and they will continue to be supported in every way possible.
"I would also like to express my sincere gratitude to our customers for their support and loyalty during our time here.”
John Lewis added they will meet with each employee individually to discuss how the company can support them, including looking at "redeployment opportunities".