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.

An email sent to all staff 30 minutes after Boris Johnson's announcement last night told staff that shops would remain open as there would be a demand for 'vital' fitness equipment. 

Following major backlash from politicians and customers, bosses have now announced they will shut from today.

Oxford Mail readers were also among those calling for the stores to close.

One woman, commenting on our Facebook post, said: "As a frontline NHS worker. I will never shop at SportsDirect again."

Another said it would be 'irresponsible' if the shops stayed open.