Follow us

Menu
PARTNER WITH USFREE NEWSLETTER
VISIT TheIndustry.beauty

Labour calls for Hospitality and High Streets Fightback Fund after M&S announces 7,000 job cuts

Lauretta Roberts
18 August 2020

Labour has called upon the Government to introduce a Hospitality and High Streets Fightback Fund following the news this morning that Marks & Spencer is to make an additional 7,000 redundancies in the coming months.

The cull at M&S follows news last week that Debenhams is to cut 2,500 staff along with thousands of jobs already having been lost following the collapse of Oasis and Warehouse, and the closure of TM Lewin and Cath Kidston stores to name a few. River Island, Ted Baker and Arcadia are also making significant cuts (see chart below).

Across retail in general it is estimated that more than 40,000 jobs have been lost, while in fashion retail alone it is more than 23,000. The Government’s furlough scheme for workers comes to an end in October and while it has launched the back to work bonus, offering firms £1,000 for every furloughed staff member a business retains, there are fears there will still be thousands more retail jobs axed.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak unveiled his Plan for Jobs in the summer statement alongside a 15% cut in VAT to add to the 100% business rates relief already available for eligible businesses.

Labour has now called for a tailored Hospitality and High Streets Fightback Fund to protect jobs and help struggling firms in the sector.

It believes an underspend in coronavirus business grant schemes could be used to unlock significant funds for local areas to target help for those in particular distress, including restaurants and retailers.

Lucy Powell
Lucy Powell (Peter Byrne/PA)

Lucy Powell, shadow minister for business and consumers, said the M&S job losses were “devastating for the workers involved yet they also tell a much bigger story about the threat to our high streets”.

She added: “The scale of job losses was not inevitable but the incompetence of this Government means we’re now seeing wave after wave of redundancies, and store closures.

“Labour has called for a Hospitality and High Streets Fightback Fund to support businesses in distress and to save jobs now. Ministers must change course.”

Fashion retail jobs lost or at risk since the start of the COVID-19 crisis

March 31 – Laura Ashley – 268

April 17 – Debenhams – 422

April 21 – Cath Kidston – 900

April 30 – Oasis Warehouse – 1,800

May 19 – Antler – 164

May 21 – Clarks – 900

June 1 – Aldo UK – unknown number

June 5 – Victoria’s Secret – 800 at risk

June 8 – Mulberry – 375

June 10 – Monsoon Accessorise – 545

June 10 – Quiz – 93

June 23 – Shoe Zone – unknown number of jobs in head office

June 30 – TM Lewin – 600

July 1 – Harrods – 700

July 1 – Arcadia – 500

July 7 – Pentland Brands – 350

July 7 – River Island – 250

July 9 – John Lewis – 1,300 at risk

July 15 – Johnsons Shoes – 79

July 16 – Burberry – 150 in UK, 350 overseas

July 17 – Oliver Sweeney – unknown number lost after five stores closed

July 19 – Ted Baker – 500

July 19 – Harvey Nichols – unconfirmed number at risk

July 20 – Marks & Spencer – 950 at risk

July 28 – Selfridges – 450

July 28 – Baird Group – 264

July 29 – Hotter Shoes – “a number” of jobs lost due to 46 store closures

August 3 – DW Sports – 1,700 at risk

August 5 – M&Co  – 327

August 11 – Debenhams – a further 2,500

August 12 – River Island – a further 350

August 14 – Jigsaw – 20 stores at risk, unknown number of staff

August 18 – Marks & Spencer – a further 7,500

Total: 23,010 jobs lost or at risk, with hundreds more "unknown"

Read More
Free NewsletterVISIT TheIndustry.beauty
cross