Data reveals fallout from health crisis since March 2020, with many stores closing permanently
Almost 190,000 UK jobs have been lost in the embattled retail sector since shops were first forced to close a year ago.
The Centre for Retail Research revealed in exclusive data for the Press Association news agency that 188,685 retail jobs have gone between the start of the first lockdown on 23 March 2020 and 31 March this year.
The figures come a little over a week before non-essential shops reopen in England on 12 April, after the lengthy third lockdown. Shoppers will return to high streets and town centres that have been hit hard by the Covid pandemic, with thousands of stores closing for good.
Last month John Lewis announced that another eight of its outlets would stay permanently closed, including department stores in York, Peterborough, Sheffield and Aberdeen, with the potential loss of almost 1,500 jobs.
John Lewis said it would also permanently close four “at home” stores, which specialise in homeware, in Ashford, Basingstoke, Chester and Tunbridge Wells. The closures follow a £517m loss for 2020, the staff-owned group’s first annual loss.
The Centre for Retail Research figures revealed that 83,725 jobs lost in the period were via administrations, including collapses by Debenhams and Sir Philip Green’s Arcadia Group.