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Job loss fears

Cuts in independents predicted through ‘worsening of conditions’ on High Street


RETAIL job losses are expected to rise nearly 20 per cent in 2019 leading to more than 160,000 job losses amid a “worsening of conditions” on the High Street, and with independents expected to suffer half of the cuts.

Retail Gazette reported that, according to the Centre For Retail Research, the difficulties facing the High Street are set to intensify next year due to the “high costs of running retail stores and continuing weak demand”.
The losses are predicted to be spread across both larger retailers and independents, with total retail store closures expected to rise from 18,443 this year to 22,100 in 2019, with these closures forecast to lead to a total of 164,100 job losses, up from 137,719 in 2018.
As with HMV’s recent difficulties, administrations are due to account for the lion’s share of these losses, with redundancies due to administration rising from 92,579 to 102,500, while redundancies from CVA are set to more than double to 53,100.
“We expect to see a worsening of conditions in 2019, caused by the high costs of running retail stores and continuing weak demand,” Professor Joshua Bamfield told Retail Gazette.
“We expect a number of major retailer chains to hit the buffers in 2019 and go into administration or seek approval for CVAs, of which HMV may be only the first. Most retailers are likely to bring forward plans for store closures and jobs shedding.
“It is noteworthy that independents are expected to make up half of the job losses in retailing in 2019. The continual attrition of the independent sector may mean that the large shopping chains of the future will not come into existence.
“Intense pain will also be felt by commercial property owners in cities and retail parks. Consumers have shown over Christmas they are increasingly anxious and have become more careful about spending money.”

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