BRITAIN’S struggling retailers have axed nearly 150,000 jobs this year with experts predicting fresh pain in 2019, research for the Press Association has shown.
Almost 20,000 shops and restaurants closed their doors and 148,132 jobs were wiped out in the past year, end of year figures compiled by the Centre for Retail Research show.
While, Poundworld’s collapse in June was the biggest casualty of the year, putting 5,100 people out of a job.
Meanwhile distressed retailers including Mothercare , Carpetright , New Look and Homebase used company voluntary arrangements (CVAs) – an insolvency procedure which allows struggling firms to close unprofitable stores.
Which retailers might axe staff in 2019?
HERE are the high street chains that have said they might need to scale back operations in 2019:
- Asda: The supermarket is to start consulting with staff over potential job losses next year which could total almost 2,500.
- Debenhams: The department store is accelerating its store closure programme, putting up to 50 sites and 4,000 jobs at risk.
- Evans Cycles: Up to 50 per cent of its locations will also close, leading to around 650 job cuts.
- House of Fraser: At least eight House of Fraser stores are set to close after Sports Direct failed to come to an agreement with landlords, making around 2,000 job losses likely. Mr Ashley has previously said he hopes to keep 80% of House of Fraser stores open, but the status of some sites remains unclear.
- Ikea: The Swedish furniture store unveiled plans to cut 350 UK jobs over the next two years as part of a global transformation plan. But it will also add 500 new jobs in spring when the new Greenwich store opens.
- Laura Ashley: The retail chain is expected to close around 40 stores under its new chairman.
- Pets At Home: The pet chain is likely to cut some jobs next year, having earmarked 30 vet practices at its stores for closure.
But several retailers – including Asda, House of Fraser and Evans Cycles – are already expected to cut jobs in 2019.
The news comes amid dire warnings over poor November trading, raising fears a sub-par Christmas could push more chains into distress.
Professor Joshua Bamfield of the Centre for Retail Research said: “We feel that 2019 is going to be a repeat of these dire figures unless or until the Government takes action to provide a level playing field for both online retailers and the high street.”
Real estate adviser Altus Group said rising business rates will add pressure on the high street, forcing firms to pay an extra £127.88million on 50,000 retail premises.
Stephen Beer, chief investment officer at Epworth Investment Management, added the outlook for shopper confidence was still weak going into a new year.
He said: “Consumer surveys show that people are not feeling confident about the future, despite an increase in wages.”
Sports Direct boss Mike Ashley said this month that retailers would be “smashed to pieces” by the weaker spending.
Paddy Lillis, general secretary of the shopworkers’ union Usdaw, told the Press Association: “We are very concerned about the impact of Brexit increasing prices at the same time as incomes being squeezed, customers changing their shopping habits and new technology being introduced.”
More on money
Boxing day sales have started early this year as the high street struggle continues.
Shops on the high street have launched the highest number of sales in the Christmas lead-up as retailers battle to win customers.
But it’s not just the high street that’s struggling as online stores, including Asos, TK Maxx and Boohoo.com, have also slashed prices in order to drum up business.
We pay for your stories! Do you have a story for The Sun Online Money team? Email us at [email protected] or call 0207 78 24516. Don’t forget to join the Sun Money’s Facebook group for the latest bargains and money-saving advice.
- Women could bear brunt of high street job losses, survey warns
- Over 23,000 shops and 175,000 high street jobs predicted to go in 2019
- Cyber Monday shoppers to spend record £1.5bn as spending matches High Street for first time
- Sydney news: NSW RFS on high fire alert, union blames job cuts for prolonged power outages
- BHS crash sets trend for a chain of closures on UK high streets
- Cyber Monday shoppers are set to spend a record £1.5bn as online sales match High Street spending for the first time amid fears commuters will crash websites while shopping on their phones
- Carpetright to close 81 MORE stores as high street pain worsens - but is your local branch one of them?
- High Street’s big names on alert for crucial sales figures
- Mother who grew up in a council house turned to alcohol to feel confident in her high-flying job and ended up boozing '24 hours a day' through her 40s - until she finally beat her addiction with HYPNOSIS
- UPDATE 3-Compass points to job cuts as Europe economic slowdown bites
- Amazon creates 1,000 'highly skilled' jobs in three UK cities
- CANADA FX DEBT-Canadian dollar notches two-week high as rate cut bets shrink
- General election 2019: Nine big things forgotten by the parties
- Clothing retailer Coast collapses into administration with 300 jobs lost
- General election 2019: Carlaw 'would campaign for Leave' in new EU vote
- Election 2019: SDLP manifesto at a glance
- Cannes Lions 2019: The creative battle begins
- General election 2019: UKIP launches manifesto
- General election 2019: Nuclear power in Wales - what will parties do?
- Strong US job growth highlights economy's resilience
More high street job cuts on the horizon for 2019 as brutal conditions saw 150,000 lost this year have 1001 words, post on www.thesun.co.uk at December 24, 2018. This is cached page on Europe Breaking News. If you want remove this page, please contact us.