85,000 retail jobs lost this year

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CVA landlords

Around 85,000 retail jobs have been lost across the UK’s high streets in the first nine months of the year as the sector continues to struggle under significant pressure.

According to new figures seen by The Observer, retail administrations hit their highest point in five years between January and September this year.

Close to 1000 retail business entered administration in the period, while a further 26 underwent a CVA procedure to avoid collapse, marking a 73 per cent rise on the prior year.

Figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed that these closures led to 80,000 retail job losses in the first half of the year, a figure now understood to have risen to 85,000.

“We are seeing more competition and higher costs on the high street, coupled with a long-term decline in footfall as consumers shop online,” British Retail Consortium’s head of insight Rachel Lund said.

“This is making conditions tough for retailers, so it is no surprise that job numbers have fallen alongside a rise in CVAs and insolvencies.

“The government should take immediate action to halt the rising cost of business rates.”

Last week, separate data from PwC and the Local Data Company revealed that there were 2692 store closures in the first six months of the year, leading to an average of 14 job losses a day.

Furthermore, store openings have dropped by a third and are now easily outpaced by closures, with just 1569 stores opening their doors in the same period, compared to 2342 stores a year earlier.

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