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Record number of retail jobs lost in 2019

The year of 2019 was one of the worst for UK high streets in the past 25 years, with more than 2,750 jobs within the retail sector being lost each and every week, new research has found. 

Analysis from the Centre for Retail Research showed a total of 143,128 jobs were lost from high streets, main shopping destinations, towns and villages, as well as small shopping parades and isolated stores across the UK. 

Joshua Bamfield, director at the Centre for Retail Research, said retail was “in crisis” as a result of high costs, low profitability, and losing sales to online shopping, adding, “these problems are felt by most businesses operating from physical stores, in high streets or shopping malls. The low growth in consumer spending since 2015 has meant that the growth in online sales has come at the expense of the high street.”

A total of 8,103 jobs were lost through retailers falling into administration, while a further 26,462 jobs were lost through company voluntary arrangements being used to close loss-making stores.

Although overall retail sector job losses were up by 25,703 compared with 2018, job losses at small independent retailers fell 22% from 55,030 in 2018 to 42,985.

The Centre for Retail Research predicts that without government intervention for large retailers, job losses will top 171,000 in 2020.

Readers' comments (1)

  • This just goes to show that retail was significantly over employed - at store and management level. It needs to decrease much further.

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