OSWESTRY'S Poundland store, in Cross Street, is one of 32 nationally that has been forced to temporarily close because of the coronavirus outbreak.

The news was confirmed by shopworkers’ trade union Usdaw, which says it had been briefed by Poundland that they intend to temporarily close 32 stores from close of business on Tuesday.

The company are asking employees to voluntarily agree to be furloughed and staff will receive 80 per cent of average earnings in line with the government’s Jobs Retention Scheme.

According to Poundland, three reasons were given for the temporary closures: the store is located in a retail park or shopping centre instructed to close by a landlord/business requirement; there are a number of stores in the same area and closing will assist to streamline distribution operations, or there are not enough colleagues available to staff the store

Dave Gill, Usdaw national officer, said the Union understands the move taken by Poundland.

He said: “This is clearly a difficult time for shopworkers on the frontline of providing essential services during the coronavirus emergency.

"We understand why the company feel the need to temporarily streamline the number of outlets and we have emphasised the need for furloughed workers to be volunteers.

"Usdaw continues in negotiations with the company, where we are calling for Poundland to top up the government scheme, so that our members have no loss of income.”

The move comes after Poundland bosses took to social media last week to ask for patience from the public regarding shopping at their stores.