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Almost 15,000 retail jobs lost so far this year: Centre for Retail Research

Image: InternetRetailing Media/Paul Skeldon

Almost 15,000 retail jobs have been lost so far this year, new figures suggest. So far this year – up to February 20 – some 14,874 jobs in the industry have been announced, along with the closure of 675 stores, according to figures from the Centre for Retail Research. 

Those job losses come both from retail rationalisations – accounting for an estimated 11,689 jobs – at companies such as New Look and Asda – as well as from the failure of a number of retailers. 

Paperchase and M&Co are both among the Top500-listed multichannel retailers to have announced store closures so far this year following business failures. Tesco has since bought the Paperchase brand after the business, which then operated some 106 shops, failed with an estimated 820 job losses. Yours Clothing owner AK Retail Holdings has bought M&Co‘s website and brand intellectual property, but not its 180 stores, which are set to be close by the spring. M&Co previously employed more than 1,900 people. 

The job losses have come both as inflation and the cost of living have risen in the wake of factors including Covid-19 and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. 

The pace of job losses looks set to continue this year. 

Professor Joshua Bamfield, of the Centre for Retail Research, says: “The process of rationalisation will continue at pace as retailers continue to reduce their cost base. We are unlikely to see any respite in job losses in 2023 after a brutal start to the year.”

In the whole of 2022, the Centre for Retail Research records, some 151,474 retail jobs were lost, of which 31,914 were as a result of administrations and 119,560 were from retail rationalisations. In all, an estimated 17,145 shops closed during the year. 

That was sharply up on 2021, when 105,727 jobs were lost. Of those 39,934 were from administrations, 2,958 from CVAs (company voluntary agreements) and 62,935 from rationalisations. Some 11,459 shops closed during the year. 

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