High street crisis to continue into 2020

Footfall high street BRC
The outlook comes after a year which has seen retailers such as Mothercare, Links of London and Bonmarche collapse into administration
// The high street crisis is set to continue into 2020
// 8000 stores and 85,000 jobs have been lost this year

The pressure on high street retailers is expected to continue into 2020 as consumers shift towards online and business rates increase, experts have warned.

A total of 8000 stores and 85,000 jobs have been lost this year, with retail experts predicting this to continue at the same pace during the next 12 months.

Hedge funds have bet against a recovery, taking positions against the likes of Sainsbury’s, B&Q-owner Kingfisher and Marks & Spencer.

READ MORE: Boxing Day saw biggest footfall decline since 2010

Such funds have bet £1.6 billion against retailers including B&Q owner Kingfisher, Marks & Spencer and grocer Morrisons.

The outlook comes after a year which has seen retailers such as Mothercare, Links of London and Bonmarche collapse into administration.

Meanwhile, data company Springboard found that footfall during the Boxing Day sales drop by 10.6 per cent thanks to rainy weather and early discounting.

Experts have said there will be no let up next year, even if consumer confidence recovers as a result of the Conservative Party winning a majority.

“We’ve already seen the worst ever net store closures for a year’s first half,” PwC leader of industry for consumer markets Lisa Hooker said.

“If a last-minute Christmas shopping rush fails to materialise, retailers should be prepared for a bumpy first quarter and more high street – and even online – casualties in the months ahead.”

The BRC said business rates and the government’s apprenticeship levy were fuelling closures and job losses.

Boris Johnson has also promised to launch a “fundamental review” of the business rates system in the spring.

BRC business and regulation director Tom Ironside said: “Government must address rising costs, particularly the sky-high business rates, or we are likely to see more job losses and store closures in the future.”

Click here to sign up to Retail Gazette‘s free daily email newsletter


  1. To save the high street Boris Johnson will need to act quickly and cut all rateable values by half and not just up to 50,000 rateable value he has pledged.
    I have a retail business in Bromley paying over £80,000 which has become unsustainable in this retail environment .
    I believe great names like John Lewis and Marks & Spencer will close more store unless the government help .

  2. running a retail business is not easy but the rewards are very good.
    i left a full time job paying 27,000 and managed to buy my first franchise // wont mention the name but it ends with way 🙂
    I now have 6 and am making a profit og 50 from each one. thats 300K. ive done this all in 5 years and you say retail is bad :
    could never make this much in a job


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here