The retail industry could lose almost one million jobs in the next decade, the British Retail Consortium has warned.
It has calculated that new government policies such as the national living wage, the apprenticeship levy and rising business rates could cost as much as £14bn to retailers over the next four years, reported City AM.
The retail industry currently employs around three million people in 270,000 UK stores. The BRC report said up to 74,000 of these stores could close in the next decade, with nearly 30% of these closures in Wales and northern England.
The living wage will increase to £7.20 for workers over the age of 25 next month, rising to £9 per hour by 2020. According to figures from the Office for Budget Responsibility, the increase in cost to retailers could result in 60,000 job cuts.