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New data has exposed the difficulty facing bricks and mortar retailers throughout the first eight months of 2020, with analysis suggesting more than 125,000 jobs and more than 13,000 stores have been lost.

The findings, released by the Centre for Retail Research, revealed 125,515 retail jobs have disappeared between January and August, along with the permanent closure of 13,867 bricks and mortar stores.

High streets, shopping centres and retail parks have all seen shops close as physical retailers, already trying to find their feet in a shifting retail landscape, succumb to the pressures of the coronavirus lockdown.

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Reviewing the factors resulting in the closures and job losses, the Centre for Retail Research’s analysis suggests that many bricks and mortar retailers are facing high operating costs, lower profitability, rapid online competition, alongside low investment in stores and weak forward planning.

Interestingly, the research highlighted that 32,598 of the retail positions that have been axed belonged to independent retailers, while 92,917 were at retailers with multiple branches – five or more.

The majority of jobs lost were the result of ‘rationalisation’ cost-cutting programmes introduced by larger retailers, while 43,381 were due to retailers falling into administration – a further 10,556 were shed through CVAs.

Independent retailers were the hardest hit in 2020, according to the data. 9839 independent stores closed during the period, while only 4,028 were closed by multi-shop retailers.

Professor Joshua Bamfield, Director of the Centre for Retail Research, commented: “There are some good times being had, but the majority of retailers are under incredible pressure.

“Many retailers really missed the opportunity in the early 2010s to recast their businesses.

“They’re being forced to do it now and they have to move more quickly because what should’ve been done over five years is being done over six months.”

The findings are far higher than previously estimated and come ahead of the end of the government’s furlough, which is expected to fuel a rise in unemployment heading into an uncertain winter.

In the wake of the results, the Centre for Retail Research has revised its forecast for 2020, estimating that job losses will rise further to 235,704 and store closures will reach a staggering 20,620.

Across the mobility sector, in particular, THIIS’ recent State of Play survey into employment revealed that 44 per cent of retail respondents said they had either made staff redundant since lockdown or had plans to make redundancies by October.

To attempt to reduce the spike in unemployment and to assist the retail industry, the government has launched a number of new initiatives, including the apprentice kickstarter scheme and a range of new e-commerce & export-focused measures.

https://i2.wp.com/thiis.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/high-street-decline.jpg?fit=840%2C556&ssl=1https://i2.wp.com/thiis.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/high-street-decline.jpg?resize=150%2C150&ssl=1Calvin BarnettCoronavirus NewsCOVID-19 Sector NewsNewsroomReports & ResearchSector Newsadministration,bricks and mortar,centre for retail research,CVAs,Data,e-commerce,High Street,independent retailers,job losses,multi-store retailers,retail,retail parks,shopping centres,store closuresNew data has exposed the difficulty facing bricks and mortar retailers throughout the first eight months of 2020, with analysis suggesting more than 125,000 jobs and more than 13,000 stores have been lost.The findings, released by the Centre for Retail Research, revealed 125,515 retail jobs have disappeared between January...News, views & products for mobility, access and independent living professionals