Swindon Labour Group's economic spokesperson says high streets are being ripped apart by the COVID-19 crisis.
Councillor Junab Ali, a former mayor of the borough, spoke out after the announcement that the town's John Lewis at Home branch would not reopen.
He said: “The news that the John Lewis at Mannington retail park is closing is another bitter blow for our town.
"Our thoughts are with all those affected and their families – it really is a desperately difficult time for our high streets and the retail sector as a whole.
"We can’t afford for our high streets to be ripped apart by this crisis. While Labour welcomed the cut to VAT to support the hospitality sector, it’s clear we need better targeted support for businesses in Swindon.
"The focus of our economic recovery has to be jobs, jobs and jobs again.”