High Street

Over 24,000 retail jobs lost in first half of 2020

Almost 24,348 jobs have been scrapped in the first six months of the year at large retailers which have fallen into administration, the Centre for Retail Research (CRR) has revealed.

Retailers including Laura Ashley, Debenhams, Monsoon & Accessorize, Oasis & Warehouse, Cath Kidston, Quiz, Victoria’s Secret, Oakland Furniture, Go Outdoors, TM Lewin and Benson Beds/Harveys Furniture have all pursued insolvency processes since the start of the pandemic in March.

The CRR said that overall, a total of 2,630 stores and 55,976 jobs have been affected during the first six months of 2020 through retail insolvencies, compared with 2,051 stores and 46,506 jobs affected during the whole of 2019.

Joshua Bamfield, director at the CRR, warned this was the “tip of the iceberg” and said “with the tapering of furlough from next month and the scheduled end of the lease forfeiture moratorium in September, the second half of the year could be disastrous for high streets”

He added: “The government should reduce VAT to 15% and institute free parking on Council-owned car parks for the next six months to act as a high street stimulus as well as requiring all public lavatories to be reopened.”

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