UK retail job losses: 24,000 and rising

Patrick Street alone has seen the closure of Debenhams, Vila/SELECTED, Mountain Warehouse, Hairspray and Eason, within a short time frame. The Oasis store on Cork’s main street is currently holding an everything-must-go liquidation sale before it too will close. Today it came to light that Accessorize and Monsoon won't be reopening on Cork's main street.

More than 24,000 jobs have already been lost in the UK, across high street retailers in administration, in the first half of 2020 after the coronavirus lockdown sparked the collapse of a raft of well-known brands.

New figures from Britain’s Centre for Retail Research (CRR) have revealed that 24,348 jobs have already been lost across insolvent UK retailers, with the organisation warning this is just the tip of the iceberg.

It also revealed that 31,628 UK jobs are still at risk of being permanently axed at retailers, with many still expected to permanently close some stores.

Experts said this represents almost 56,000 British retail workers who have been impacted by retail administrations, which is already higher than the total of workers impacted by insolvencies in the UK retail sector for the whole of 2019.

Last year, a total of 2,051 stores and 46,506 jobs were affected by major retail insolvencies in Britain.

A host of major high street brands, such as Laura Ashley, Debenhams, Monsoon-Accessorize, Cath Kidston, Quiz and Victoria's Secret have all entered insolvency after being forced to shut their doors in March.

The CRR said a further 15,300 jobs have already been shed at solvent large retailers looking to cut costs.

Over the past week, Harrods, Arcadia and John Lewis all confirmed plans to cut jobs in a bid to secure their financial futures.

Joshua Bamfield, director at the CRR warned the situation could worsen.

"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 said.

-Press Association