27,000 retail jobs lost in 2021 so far

Experts respond to the news that 1 in 5 businesses could make staff redundant as furlough support changes across the UK.
"We need to see thegGovernment backing small businesses and supercharging the employment environment" - Mike Cherr
// 27,096 jobs have been shed & 1023 stores have been earmarked for closure so far in 2021
// Centre for Retail Research says about 850 jobs have been lost from the sector each working day since the start of the year
// Renewed pressure on gov’t to extend the current business rates holiday and moratorium on evictions by landlords

Retail experts have warned that recent job losses will be the “tip of the iceberg” without further support from the Treasury, as new figures reveal about 850 jobs have been lost from the sector each working day since the start of the year.

New analysis from the Centre for Retail Research (CRR) shows 27,096 jobs have been shed and 1023 stores have been earmarked for closure so far in 2021.

The research, which covers insolvencies by retailers with 10 or more stores, highlights the turmoil on the high street, which has seen the recent collapses of Debenhams and Sir Philip Green’s Arcadia Group retail empire.


READ MORE: Retailers cut almost 177,000 jobs in 2020


Professor Joshua Bamfield of the CRR warned “these losses will be the tip of the iceberg” without an extension of the current business rates holiday and moratorium on evictions by landlords.

At the onset of the pandemic, the UK Government launched a break on business rates for retail, hospitality and leisure firms until the end of the current financial year, March 31.

Retail bosses have called on Chancellor Rishi Sunak to extend the relief in the Budget, to be revealed on March 3, as we as complete a major overhaul of the current business rates system.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government issued its latest statistical guidance on Wednesday, forecasting that councils in England will collect £24.8 billion for the next year – with no provision for an extension of the rates holiday in its forecast.

It has been reported that the government is still considering an extension to the rent holiday, but Bamfield warned “this will simply kick the can down the road” as he called for greater support.

“Government loans enabling retailers to turn unpaid rents accumulated during the crisis into fixed-term repayable loans could be the answer as part of a wider basket of support,” he said.

Yesterday, the Scottish Government extended its business rates holiday for the next financial year, increasing pressure on the Chancellor further.

Robert Hayton, UK president of property tax at real estate adviser Altus Group, said: “Lockdown restrictions and changing consumer habits mean our high streets are far from capable of bearing the burden right now, but the extension must be discerning and targeted to avoid repeating the mistakes of the past.”

with PA Wires

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1 COMMENT

  1. Business Rates need reform. That and parking charges need freezing and cutting and further the leases need to come down. A shop to let for nearly 4 years for £370k in non prime pitch is not going to lease for £340k even if sub divided sorry to say aka the Former Curry’s Digital store in Canterbury empty since April 2016.

    Now loads more empty shops there including independents. If he wants to minimise the job impact and loss of revenue to government get rid of the Business rates freeze it for another year and bring in a turnover tax to reflect the new realities of physical retail.

    And tax internet properly then the government won’t lose so much money.
    The system is well and truly broke at the moment.

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