20,000 stores could close this year, says Centre of Retail Research

A total of 20,620 retail stores will have shuttered by the end of the year, according to the Centre of Retail Research. 

In the newly-released ‘Coronavirus: Lost Lives, Lost Stores and Lost Jobs’ report, it was revealed that 4,547 more businesses would have to close their doors in 2020 compared with closures the year prior.

The report said that job losses could rise to 235,714, up by 92,576 compared with 2019, due to the rise in store closures as well as staffing ratios and reduced overhead. 

However, the centre believes that the government’s business job retention and interruption schemes, as well as the rates holiday for retailers, will “significantly” limit store closures and job losses.

The report said that a moderate recovery could also be expected once stringent lockdown measures were lifted with a possible “splurge of cash by late summer”.

The report also said that 2020 could likely be the “best year” for supermarkets and grocers since 2011, due to the sharp increase in consumer spending amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Professor Joshua Bamfield, director at the Centre for Retail Research, said: “We expect large retail businesses to now be looking at exactly how many stores they expect to operate in 2021 and beyond in order to trade successfully moving forward. They will now make plans to achieve those objectives.”

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