After an extremely turbulent Christmas trading period, almost 20,000 jobs have been lost from UK high streets, with many more in positions of instability.
According to real estate data service Altus, a further 400 jobs are being cut from the retail sector every day.
Despite retail vacancy spaces nearing the ten per cent mark, it's not just independent retailers feeling the pinch. Major high street retailers such as John Lewis, Marks & Spencer and Tesco have all recently announced cuts to staff.
Announcing the closure of up to 100 retail outlets, Marks & Spencer's CEO Steve Rowe confirmed that the future continues to look bleak for the chain: "We should have been doing what retailers do all the time.
"We need a constant churn to ensure we've got the right stores in the right places for our customers. I'm not going to stop at 100 and say job done."
In January of this year, Tesco announced a ‘simplification’ of its business model that reduced its staff base by 1,700, whilst Marks & Spencer recently confirmed that it would cut up to 4,000 of its employees across the business.
“It remains tough for high street businesses right now whilst Brexit uncertainty is also hurting both manufacturers and the services industries,” Altus head of UK business rates Robert Hayton said.
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“During the last decade, revenue from business rates has risen by 32% in England, up £6.04billion to £24.76billion for the current year.”
The news comes after an extremely rocky 2018 for retail. 2,700 high street shops were closed within the first half of the year, whilst overall job losses amounted to over 150,000 nation-wide.
Historic mainstays of the UK’s retail market such as Poundworld, Toys 'R' Us, Crawshaw and Maplin all went into administration, whilst many others including New Look, House of Fraser and Debenhams continue to struggle, with the latter planning closures of up to 50 locations in the UK after a pre-tax loss of £491.5million last year.
Debenhams CEO Sergio Bucher told the BBC that the proposed closures were "currently contributing positively, however, rolling forward current trends, we do not believe they will remain profitable in future years and therefore we intend to exit these stores over the next three to five years".