John Lewis is set to launch a fresh round of store closures as the turmoil on the high street worsens, according to reports.

It has been six months since the John Lewis store in Watford permanently closed and now the department store giant is understood to be considering the closure of eight more stores in a bid to cut its significant property costs.

The plan, first reported by the Sunday Times, comes eight months after the retailer announced the closure of eight stores, including at intu Watford, following the initial impact of the pandemic.

John Lewis, which currently operates 42 stores, is in the middle of a strategic shake-up aimed to increase the proportion of its sales made through its online channels.

The retail group has declined to comment on the reports.

Partners will be updated on the company’s recent trading and its latest growth strategy in an announcement on March 11.

John Lewis has been among retailers to report a surge in online sales but has continued to face a burden from its portfolio of large bricks and mortar stores.

The John Lewis Partnership, which also includes the Waitrose supermarket business, revealed plans last year to streamline its headquarters with about 1,500 job cuts.

The move is intended to help the business save around £50 million as part of wider plans to reduce its total costs by £300 million.

Shoppers were left "devastated" when it was announced John Lewis was "at risk" of closure last June, and despite 10,000 people signing a petition to save the historic store, it shut its doors for good in August.

Watford's John Lewis store was among eight which the company said was "financially challenged" prior to the pandemic.

Despite paying no rent to be in Watford, a spokesperson for the company said "operational costs and anticipated footfall" also played a part in a decision to close the store, which has been in the town for 140 years, but under different names.

The John Lewis site at intu remains vacant.