// Some 650,000 retail jobs have been lost in the past five years, new research shows
// The Centre for Retail Research said 645,204 retail jobs have been lost and 72,580 stores closed across the UK since 2017
Almost 650,000 jobs have been lost in the UK’s retail sector over the past five years, according to new figures.
It comes as industry experts are calling on the Prime Minister for caution over business rates levels next year in order to protect the future of UK high streets.
The Centre for Retail Research said that 645,204 retail jobs have been lost and 72,580 stores closed across the whole of the UK during the five years since 2017.
- One in five retail workers plan to quit the retail industry
- Oxford Street footfall down 52% on pre-pandemic levels
This included 105,727 jobs lost last year as the continuation of the furlough scheme kept losses below previous years.
The figures come as high street firms face a significant increase in business rates after benefiting from tax breaks during the pandemic. In April 2023, a revaluation of around two million non-domestic properties for business rates in England will come into force.
Debenhams and brands under Sir Philip Green’s Arcadia Group, such as Topshop and Dorothy Perkins slashed jobs amid the pandemic while more recently, TM Lewin and Missguided have seen hefty job losses.
Real estate adviser Altus Group has urged the government not to usher in large tax increases next year, with a consultation currently underway into arrangements for the 20223 business rates revaluation in England.
Robert Hayton, UK president at Altus Group, said: “Taking from those sectors and regions that have struggled, where rents have significantly dropped, would be foolhardy, affording them no respite to recover and rebuild.
“It’s robbing Peter to pay Paul and certainly doesn’t aid the levelling up of prosperity.”