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10,000 retail jobs have already been lost in 2020

Lauretta Roberts
27 January 2020

Nearly 10,000 retail jobs have been lost in retail since the start of 2020, according to new research.

Debenhams, Mothercare and Asda are among several big brands to have closed stores or announced redundancy plans contributing to the losses.

A total of 9,949 positions have gone, analysis by the Centre for Retail Research found, with a further 1,200 jobs under threat with the collapse of department store Beales and toy retailer Hawkin’s Bazaar in the past week.

Other retailers closing stores or cutting jobs include Game, HMV, Arcadia and Morrisons.

Large-scale store closures have been widely blamed on the huge shift to shopping online. Last week research from GlobalData revealed that online is expected to reach 20% of all retail sales in 2024 and 30% in the five years thereafter.

It has been a grim start to 2020 after a challenging 2019. Debenhams began the year by closing 19 stores during the month of January with more planned to take place during 2021. This formed part of a restructure revealed last year after the business fell into administration and was subsequently bought by a consortium of its investors.

Maternity and baby retailer Mothercare put its UK arm into administration in December and closed all of its 79 remaining UK stores this month, marking its departure from the high street after 59 years of trading. It still operates international stores and its clothes will be sold in branches of Boots from the middle of this year.

Meanwhile Bournemouth-based department store chain Beales fell into administration last week putting 22 stores and more than 1,000 jobs at risk. The business had been hoping to find a buyer and, despite reports of interested parties, a deal was not done in time. For the time being the business continues to trade from its stores, while its future is decided.

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