Sports Direct has said it will close its stores in a major U-turn after initially calling for its workers to continue selling sports and fitness equipment in the face of coronavirus.

Chris Wootton, chief finance officer of owner Frasers Group, said its Sports Direct and Evans Cycles stores will not open on Tuesday.

He said in a "clarification" that they will remain shut, despite stating that government policy "excludes bicycle shops from closure".

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Stores will not reopen until "given the go-ahead by the Government", he added.

The retailer said it is contacting the Government "at all levels" in an attempt to get confirmation from the Prime Minister.

It comes after politicians hit out at the business for its plan to keep stores open after Boris Johnson ordered non-essential shops to close, with Labour Party chairman Ian Lavery telling company majority owner Mike Ashley to "take some responsibility" and "shut up shop".

JD Sports said it has shut down "essentially all" of its stores across the UK, US and Europe following the spread of coronavirus.

The company said it is experiencing a "major disruption" to business operations, but warned current uncertainty means it is too early to provide financial guidance for the year.

Luxury handbag-maker Mulberry warned it expects to slump to a second-half loss as it said trading has been "severely impacted" by the coronavirus crisis.

The group's UK stores have been closed since March 21 and it is reviewing its international outlets on a "case-by-case basis".

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It said: "Whilst the board remains confident in the strength of the Mulberry brand, recent trading in our stores, particularly in the UK, has been severely impacted by the Covid-19 crisis."

The Somerset-based firm - which sells high-end bags costing upwards of £1,000 - had been hoping to turn a profit in the final six months of its financial year to the end of March, but now said it is set to post a small loss.

It added that it is now "working to protect Mulberry's cash and to secure future value for its stakeholders by proactively managing its capital as well as identifying opportunities for cost savings".

It has suspended shareholder dividend payouts until further notice.

Mike Ashley's Frasers Group bought a 12.5% stake in Mulberry last month.

Mulberry had already been struggling financially before the coronavirus pandemic struck, with bosses warning that the UK market remains tough and heavy discounting is hitting profits.

In November, the company said it recorded a £9.9 million pre-tax loss for the six months to September 28.

Chief executive Thierry Andretta said: "Our highest priority at this time is the health and safety of our colleagues, customers and all other stakeholders.

"Whilst it is uncertain how long the virus will directly impact our markets and our businesses, we remain confident in the strength of our brand and in our strategy over the long term."

The UK makes up nearly two-thirds of Mulberry's sales, but Mr Andretta has been looking to increase its international business - and Asia in particular - to reduce its reliance on its home market.

Insurance giant Prudential has said it is considering "other options" for its US business, Jackson, alongside plans for a flotation, due to stock market turmoil.

The firm - which is heavily focused on Asia - said: "In light of continued turmoil in public equity markets, the board is ensuring that, alongside preparations for a minority IPO, it continues to actively evaluate other options in relation to Jackson, driven by the focus and objectives that underline our strategic priorities."

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Prudential chief executive Mike Wells said the company still wants to spin off Jackson, but is having to be "flexible in how we execute our corporate strategy".

He added: "Covid-19 has now developed rapidly from a largely regional issue into a global pandemic.

"This means we are having to adapt further.

"Our teams in the US, the UK and Africa are learning from the experience of their colleagues in Asia, and I am pleased to report that our business continuity plans have been executed smoothly."