INTU Merry Hill's branch of Poundland is among those set to temporarily close during this latest national lockdown.

The budget chain has announced 44 of its shops will go into temporary hibernation when trading ceases on Saturday January 9, despite being able to trade as an essential retailer.

The Poundland store at intu Merry Hill is among those earmarked to shut their doors temporarily, the official list shows.

Austin Cooke, Poundland’s retail director said: “We learned valuable lessons during the lockdown in March about how buying patterns change as people stick to government advice to stay at home.

“Putting a small number of stores into hibernation helps protect them for the long term and focus our attention on the majority of stores that remain open to serve their neighbourhoods.

“We hope this lockdown is short and we can re-open our hibernating stores as quickly as possible and we remain grateful for the vital support schemes available to us that help protect jobs.”

The majority of Poundland's 800-plus stores will remain open for business as usual.

In the first 2020 lockdown, Poundland closed around 120 stores in March and was able to start reopening them from the end of May.

It is not known when the affected stores this time round will re-open their doors.