Nearly 15,000 High Street jobs lost since Christmas and a further 4,000 at risk as retailers struggle to survive
- Some 14,377 roles have been made redundant since December 25
- Some 4,345 jobs remain at risk since Christmas
- The job losses reflect the collapse of several big high street names
The recent collapse of a raft of high street firms and the downsizing of other retailers mean that nearly 15,000 jobs were lost and over 4,000 remain at risk since Christmas, new analysis has showed.
Some 14,377 roles have been made redundant, while a further 4,345 remain at risk since December 25, or a total average of 400 jobs a day, according to research by Altus for the Press Association.
The job losses reflect the collapse of several big high street names including HMV, Patisserie Valerie and Oddbins as well as the axing of thousands of jobs by other firms like Tesco, Marks & Spencer and Santander.
Last month, more than 900 staff lost their jobs after Patisserie Valerie fell into administration
Last month, more than 900 staff lost their jobs after Patisserie Valerie fell into administration, with a further 2,000 still at risk, after the discovery of a potential fraud and the arrest of its chief financial officer.
Meanwhile Oddbins collapsed at the beginning of February, putting 550 jobs across 101 off-licences at risk.
Retailers have been battling the rise of online shopping, higher business rates, higher staffing costs following the introduction of the National Living Wage and low consumer confidence, as shoppers rein in spending amid Brexit uncertainty.
Robert Hayton, head of UK business rates at Altus, said: ‘It remains tough for high street businesses right now whilst Brexit uncertainty is also hurting both manufacturers and the services industries.’
Business rates is the biggest overhead firms are grappling with and, on March 25, high street stores will need to stump up more cash for their quarterly rent bills.
‘During the last decade, revenue from business rates has risen by 32% in England, up £6.04 billion to £24.76 billion for the current year,’ Hayton added.
‘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.’
Businesses will also have to pay their staff more from April 11, when an increase in the National Living Wage kicks in.
It will increase by 4.9 per cent to £8.21 per hour on that date, and rates for younger workers will also increase above inflation.
Wine chain Oddbins collapsed at the beginning of February.
The job loss figures are likely to alarm the Government and follow on from a torrid 2018, when struggling retailers axed nearly 150,000 jobs as almost 20,000 shops and restaurants closed their doors.
Poundworld, Toys R Us, Maplin and House of Fraser all went into administration, while distressed retailers including Mothercare, Carpetright, New Look and Homebase used company voluntary arrangements (CVAs) to close stores.
Several restaurant chains – Gaucho, Byron, Gourmet Burger Kitchen, Prezzo and Jamie’s Italian – also shut outlets.