High Street

18,722 retail jobs lost or at risk since Christmas day

Some 18,722 retail staff, 400 every single day, have either been made redundant or have had their jobs threatened since Christmas day, according to new data from real estate data service Altus.

Oddbins, Patisserie Valerie, Greenwoods, Chapelle, tReds and HMV have all entered administration, with the music and film retailer being sold last week with the immediate closure of 27 stores leading to 455 job losses. Tesco and M&S have also announced thousands of jobs cuts.

According to the group, the standard tax rate, which applies to all medium and large premises in England with a rateable value over £51,000, will rise by 2.4% to 50.4p in England on 1 April. It will be the first time the tax rate for business rates in England will have gone above 50% and will add an extra £127m to the “rates burden” for the retail sector.

A statement from Altus read: “After a torrid 2018 for Britain’s beleaguered high streets, traditional bricks-and-mortar retailers continue to feel the strain after a disappointing Christmas as businesses continue to grapple with rising costs, subdued consumer confidence and an increase spend online with margins having coming under pressure.”

Robert Hayton, head of UK business rates at Altus Group, said: “It remains tough for high street businesses right now whilst Brexit uncertainty is also hurting both manufacturers and the services industries.

“During the last decade, revenue from business rates has risen by 32% in England up £6.04bn to £24.76bn for the current year. Next month’s Spring Statement shouldn’t just be an update on the UK’s economic outlook but a meaningful opportunity to deliver a stimulus to all sectors by freezing the planned rate rises.”

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