A total of 18,722 jobs at British high street chains have been lost or threatened since Christmas Day – almost 400 a day – new research has found.
Of the 4,345 jobs that are currently at risk, 1,600 are at Debenhams, which is planning to shut 50 stores. A further 165 jobs could be lost at footwear retailer Treds, which went into administration on 30 January.
The next few months will be a critical time for many retailers. Quarterly rents are due on 25 March, and rises in the National Living Wage kick in from 1 April.
Robert Hayton, head of UK business rates at Altus Group, which conducted the research, said: “It remains tough for high street businesses right now, while Brexit uncertainty is also hurting both manufacturers and the service industries. During the last decade, revenue from business rates has risen by 32% in England – up £6.04bn to £24.76bn for the current year. Next month’s Spring Statement shouldn’t just be an update on the UK’s economic outlook but a meaningful opportunity to deliver a stimulus to all sectors by freezing the planned rate rises.”