A petition to stop John Lewis from closing in Watford has now racked up more than 10,000 signatures.

Six thousand people have added their name to the petition since Thursday, when it was announced the department store was permanently closing in the town.

Before that announcement, around 4,000 people had pledged their support to stop the shop closing after John Lewis was named as a store "at risk" of closure.

Petition creator Caroline Sampson, a former John Lewis Partners employee, from Bushey, says it is time John Lewis takes notice of the petition.

She said: "I don't want to let this petition go and I want people to keep contacting John Lewis. Let's fight this.

"Ten thousand signatures is a lot of people. John Lewis should be taking this petition seriously. There are really valuable and impassioned comments on there.

"John Lewis should be listen to the people who live here. Communicate with us and maybe use the space more imaginatively.

"We need to keep their presence in the town."

Previously, Mrs Sampson described the closure of John Lewis as "devastating" adding that the retailer is what draws people to Watford town centre.

Watford's store was among eight sites that John Lewis said last Thursday would be closing permanently.

The company said all eight stores were "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.

Sharon White, chairman of John Lewis, added last Thursday: "Closing a shop is always incredibly difficult and today’s announcement will come as very sad news to customers and Partners.

"However, we believe closures are necessary to help us secure the sustainability of the Partnership - and continue to meet the needs of our customers however and wherever they want to shop.

"Redundancies are always an absolute last resort and we will do everything we can to keep as many Partners as possible within our business."

The petition can be found here.