News | Published January 27 2020

Centre for Retail Research: 10,000 retail jobs already lost in 2020

According to figures published by the Centre for Retail Research, there have already been 10,000 job losses in the retail sector since the start of 2020. According to analysts, this is likely to increase.

The retail sector in the UK employs roughly three million people and since the beginning of the year, 9,949 jobs have been lost. 

With the collapse of Hawkin’s Bazaar and Beales last week, this is likely to increase by 1,200. Throughout 2019, according to the CCR, 143,100 jobs were lost. 

These job losses have been caused, in part, by total retail sales falling in 2019, with sales in November and December falling by 0.9 per cent.

Alongside companies which have collapsed, many retailers are also announcing redundancies and store closures, with Asda, Debenhams, Game and HMV all announcing such measures this month.

Although there are many factors which have caused this decline in the retail sector, such as high business rates and weak consumer confidence, the rise of online retail is central. These issues are compounded by competition from new, online start-ups which further detract from the sales of retail giants.

Commenting on these figures, Julie Palmer, a partner at insolvency firm Begbies Traynor, said: “We’re going to see more retail failures this year.

“January is traditionally a really bad month for retailers and if retailers have not had a good Christmas, they will really struggle, particularly at the end of January when the quarterly rent bill is due.”

According to industry experts, one of the effects of a declining retail sector will be a transformation of town centres. It is predicted that department stores will disappear, to be replaced by the return of smaller shops.

Ms Palmer stated that: “planners are being more imaginative about how they plan High Streets.

“Developers like McCarthy and Stone and Churchill’s are working on a lot of housing projects and some of that retail space is going over to elderly accommodation for over-55s, who like living in smaller city centres.

“Older shoppers don’t want big department stores – they want the retailer to have a focus on the local community.”

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Authored by

George Salmon
Political Editor
January 27 2020

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