The books and gifting retailer is set to make redundancies at its London Piccadilly head office, despite strong performance in online sales after lockdown.

In a statement on Wednesday, it said that the company needed to cut costs after months of shops being unable to open.

It said: ‘It is with great regret that Waterstones is to make a number of head office redundancies and is currently in consultation with those whose Piccadilly-based roles are affected.

‘These are part of a number of measures undertaken to align the overheads of the business to the level of sales now being achieved. Waterstones has reopened all of its shops, excepting a small number where the circumstances make this impractical.

‘As for almost all high street retailers, sales are lower than before the pandemic, notably in our city-centre shops. Notwithstanding the strong online performance of Waterstones.com, it is necessary to reduce the cost base of the business to reflect the new reality of our overall trading.’