30 January 2020: According to retail sector analysts, in the UK there have already been almost 10,000 retail job losses in 2020. It is forecasted that job losses in the retail sector this year are expected to rapidly increase.
The retail sector, which employees around 3 million people, reported that 143,100 jobs were lost during 2019. With the recent administrations of Beales and Hawkin’s Bazaar, job losses are set to rise.
After deep discounting and disappointing sales during the busiest time of year for the retail sector, several retailers have announced store closures and redundancies this month already, among them are Asda, Debenhams, HMV, Game and Arcadia.
But what is driving these changes?
Business rates rises, national living wage rises, Brexit and weak consumer confidence are acknowledged as major challenges facing retailers. However, the rise of online retailing is attributed as the primary reason for the decline in the British High Street.
Some retailers are adapting to this growing trend - in an attempt to as one of the leaders in the online retail market Next allows Amazon customers to click and collect from their stores. The competition in the online retail market is fierce and it is forecast that we will see a rise in the failure of online retailers as well as a continued decline of high street shops. Current trends indicate that smaller shops are replacing big department stores and Hitchin town centre is a prime example of this, with the closure of Hawkins Department Store and Kenmore Interiors and smaller units popping up in their place.
BRI continues to support management of businesses is making the right decisions when faced with such financial difficulties.