Primark is to close all its UK stores amid a stark drop in demand during the coronavirus pandemic.

All 189 stores across the country are expected to close on Sunday and not reopen on Monday.

Its parent company has also temporarily closed stores in Europe and cancelled all future orders from suppliers.

“This situation has been so fast-moving,” said Paul Marchant, Primark chief executive.

“We could not have foreseen that over the course of a week, our stores in every country in which we operate, with the exception of the UK, have had to close. We have therefore been left with no option but to take this action.

He added: “This is unprecedented action for unprecedented and frankly unimaginable times.” 

It comes after other high street giants, including John Lewis, also announced closures.

The department store chain will close all 50 shops temporarily from Monday for the first time since it opened 155 years ago.